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AG Opinions: Work limits on probationers, constable vehicles

AG OPINION NO. 2016-091 May individuals who are on proba-

tion be used to work for non-profit organizations? 309 prisoners cannot be used to work for nonprofit organiza- tions because these inmates are specifi- cally assigned to work on the particular job needs of public detention facilities and political subdivisions. Te Attorney General explained that 309 inmates who are released from the Arkansas Depart- ment of Correction (ADC) for work as- signment have a particular scope of proj- ects allowed by law. It is clear from the plain language of section to Ark. Code Ann. § 12-30-407 that 309 prisoners are assigned to work on the job needs of political subdivisions public or deten- tion facilities. Te statute further speci- fies that the assigned inmates must work at jobs that “directly benefit” the public entities. Te inmates are to work at jobs that directly benefit a political subdivi- sion or their facilities. It is also required that the project is related to a particular inmate’s background classification and that the inmates are to be under supervi- sion at all times. With regard to “community service

workers,” those offenders who have been assigned to community correction programs administered by the Arkansas Department of Community Correction (ADCC) can, in the opinion of the AG, generally be directed to work for non-

profit organizations. Tis includes of- fenders who have been assigned to com- munity correction programs under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-93-1201 et seq. and “community service programs, includ- ing both supervised and unsupervised work assignments and projects such that offenders provide substantial labor ben- efit to the community.” Ark. Code Ann. § 16-93-1202. Te AG noted that the subject regulations define “community service program” to include “work-site agreements with non-profit agencies or organizations….” As for commu- nity service work by other offenders, Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-803 authorizes a court to condition an eligible offender’s suspended sentence upon his incarcera- tion in a county or regional jail to work on a “community work project,” which is defined to include only projects on “public lands, public buildings, public roads, public parks, and public rights- of-way….” Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-322 authorizes a district court to sentence a defendant to “public service work” and appears to authorize “working off fines” through community service work. Te AG concluded that offenders sentenced to “public service work” under section Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-322 can perform work for nonprofit organizations.

AG OPINION NO. 2016-088 Te AG noted the problems with pay-

ing or reim- bursing a con- stable for fuel in

their pri-

vately-owned vehicle. Con- stables are township of- ficials, not county offi- cials. Howev- er, Ark. Code

AG Opinions

Mark Whitmore AAC Chief Counsel

Ann. § 14-14-1310 allows a county quorum court to appropriate funds for the reimbursement or payment of the reasonable expenses of a constable. Te code mandates that a vehicle used by a constable be properly marked and equipped. Ark. Code Ann. § 14-14- 1205 also allows the quorum court to affix a salary for constables. Te AG concluded that fuel expenses may be in- cluded in compensation. Te AG, how- ever,

underscored serious accounting

issues and potential abuse in reimburs- ing an individual for fuel placed in their privately-owned vehicle. Te generic means of reimbursement of use of a pri- vate vehicle for work related travel is set forth on Ark. Code § 14-14-1207. {Leg- islative audit and best practices might reject an appropriation or payment of a claim for reimbursement for fuel for a privately-owned vehicle}.


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