Bradley County to go forward with work-release facility

Jeff Yarber, vice chairman of the Bradley County Commission

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The construction of a long-proposed Bradley County work-release facility for nonviolent misdemeanor offenders has received the green light.

On Monday evening, the Bradley County Commission voted 13-0 to launch construction of the $2.76 million workhouse, which will feature 108 bed spaces for inmates who will leave for work during the day and pay rent for their overnight stays.

"I believe in alternate sentencing, and this offers rehabilitative motivation to nonviolent offenders," said Commission Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber, who has championed the creation of the facility during its two-year discussion and planning process.

Involvement by corporations willing to partner with the program is invaluable, Yarber said. Giving a misdemeanor offender a chance to maintain a job while serving a sentence helps to reduce the chance of repeat offenses when compared to being locked away and unemployed for nine months, he said.