The Greene County Detention Center’s work release program aims to help qualified jail inmates reintegrate into society, develop employable skills, pay off fines and costs, and establish a habit of saving money.
It also poses calculated risks, that the selected inmates do not walk off from their minimum-security facility, or from their jobs. According to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, one such inmate, Joseph Gavin Bridges, 19, of Paragould, reportedly decided to do just that on Valentine’s Day.
Information from Greene County Jail Administrator Brent Cox states that Bridges walked away from the work release center, a minimum security facility. He had originally been sentenced to 120 days in the Greene County Detention Center (GCDC) in the work release program, and to 60 months probation, on Feb. 8, as the result of a guilty plea to a charge of one count of theft by receiving of property valued between $5,000 and $25,000, a Class C felony. He did not face prosecution on misdemeanors with which he had been charged.
The felony charge, and the negotiated plea, came about as the result of the theft of a white 2018 Jeep Compass from Poinsett County on July 27.
According to information from Cox, Bridges was quickly apprehended and is back in custody. His work release sentence has been revoked and he is being charged with one count of first-degree escape, a Class C felony.
Bridges remains in the GCDC without bond on the escape charge pending a bond hearing scheduled for today.