General Writing and Grammar Help/Law


Hey Ted,
In Brazilian law, there is something called "Open Regime" in which someone that has been arrested and sentenced with prision time could get a job freely during the day but must return to prison to sleep. So they can work but must go back to prision every night.

Is there such thing in the U.S.? If there is, what is it called?


Dear Nathan:

UPDATE:  I just thought of another term:  work release program.  It is exactly what you describe.

Check out the description here:


The programs of "working outside the walls" of a prison have many names.  The most common is
"outside prison labor."

There has been a change in terminology in the last 10-20 years.  Using the word "prison" in the name of the program was considered to be negative.  Now, many of the prisoners who perform work outside the walls of the prison are members of "Work Crews" or "Outside Work Crews."

Here is a description of one such program in the state of Washington:

"Inmates residing at Columbia River Correctional Institution are required and expected to work.  To that end, Work Crews are formed and subsequently employed by many public agencies, organizations and private businesses throughout the greater Tri-County area."

Years ago, the outside workers were members of "chain gangs."  They were actually chained together as they worked on projects beyond the gates of prisons.

There is more freedom and leniency these days.  The Work Crews do not necessarily work together as a group.  They LEAVE the prison as a group, but each prisoner is dropped off at
his contracted place of work.  At the end of they day, they are picked up by guards and are
returned to the prison as a group -- a "Work Crew."


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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