In the early 1980s, under the direction of the Honorable Gerald McNally and the supervision of the Director of Probation, Paul Ancona, the 33rd District Court’s “Court Work Program” was implemented. The need for the program was due primarily to the closing of the Detroit House of Corrections, and to alleviate overcrowding at the Wayne County Jail. The referral of participants is made by the Judges of the 33rd District Court, and the supervision and scheduling, by the Probation Department.
The concept of a work program is to allow misdemeanor offenders to live at home under close supervision while fulfilling their sentence and at the same time provide valuable services to the community. Participants are able to maintain employment and care for their family while completing the program. The community benefits from volunteer labor while the defendant is responsible for paying an administrative fee that covers the cost of their participation and supervision.
The defendant is allowed to substitute Work Program in lieu of being sentenced to jail. At the time of sentencing, the Judge instructs the defendant to report to the Probation Department for scheduling and instruction. The defendant is ordered to pay the cost of the program and is referred to the Probation Department to schedule the days. The cost of the program is $30.00 per day, which is used to offset the costs of supervision incurred by the Court. The defendant serves his/her sentence by performing labor in the seven jurisdiction districts that the Court serves.