Sec. 1. (a) The sheriff of each county may attempt to secure employment for each defendant sentenced to the county jail work release program under Article 42. 034 and each defendant confined in the county jail awaiting transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
(b) The employer of a defendant participating in a program under this article shall pay the defendant's salary to the sheriff. The sheriff shall deposit the salary into a special fund to be given to the defendant on his release after deducting:
(1) the cost to the county for the defendant's confinement during the pay period based on the average daily cost of confining defendants in the county jail, as determined by the commissioners court of the county;
(2) support of the defendant's dependents; and
(3) restitution to the victims of an offense committed by the defendant.
(c) At the time of sentencing or at a later date, the court sentencing a defendant may direct the sheriff not to deduct the cost described under Subdivision (1) of Subsection (b) of this section or to deduct only a specified portion of the cost if the court determines that the full deduction would cause a significant financial hardship to the defendant's dependents.
(d) If the sheriff does not find employment for a defendant who would otherwise be sentenced to imprisonment in the department, the sheriff shall:
(1) transfer the defendant to the sheriff of a county who agrees to accept the defendant as a participant in the county jail work release program; or
(2) retain the defendant in the county jail for employment as soon as possible in a jail work release program.
Sec. 2. A defendant participating in a program under this article shall be confined in the county jail or in another facility designated by the sheriff at all times except for:
(1) time spent at work and traveling to or from work; and
(2) time spent attending or traveling to or from an education or rehabilitation program approved by the sheriff.
Sec. 3. (a) The sheriff of each county shall classify each felon serving a sentence in the county jail work release program for the purpose of awarding good conduct time credit in the same manner as inmates of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice are classified under Chapter 498, Government Code, and shall award good conduct time in the same manner as the director of the department does in that chapter.
(b) If the sheriff determines that the defendant is conducting himself in a manner that is dangerous to inmates in the county jail or to society as a whole, the sheriff may remove the defendant from participation in the program pending a hearing before the sentencing court. At the hearing, if the court determines that the sheriff's assessment of the defendant's conduct is correct, the court may terminate the defendant's participation in the program and order the defendant to the term of imprisonment that the defendant would have received had he not entered the program. If the court determines that the sheriff's assessment is incorrect, the court shall order the sheriff to readmit the defendant to the program. A defendant shall receive as credit toward his sentence any time served as a participant in the program.
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