Sheriff's office launches new community work program

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A program funded by the $1.75 million Safety and Justice MacArthur grant has been in the works for a year. With nearly 20 participants completing more than 300 hours, the program has been going strong for three weeks.

Similar to community service hours, the court can order low-level offenders to complete the community work program; reporting to work each morning until the set number of hours are completed.

"This is a good way for offenders that commit offenses here in Pennington County to be able to give back to the communities where they're committing those offenses," says Brian Mueller, chief deputy in the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.

The goal is to safely reduce the jail population by 20 percent over the next two years.