Program aids prisoner with transition

Local News

Faribault County Jail’s work release program is helping an inmate who has served more than 20 years in prison transition back into public life.

Chief Deputy Scott Adams says Ryan Robert Owen, 46, will be at the facility until next February and has found a job in the county.

“He does drive himself to work and, like all our inmates on release, he is strictly monitored,” says Adams. “We have the choice to not accept or allow anyone work release.”

Owen was placed on work release status in May and transferred to the county jail after serving 23 years for the October 1998 murder of a Winnebago woman.

Adams says the jobs program was canceled locally last year because of the COVID pandemic and resumed in mid-May.

He says that Owen and other inmates in the program are housed together in one pod away from the others in jail.

Jail administrator Todd Hanevik says Department of Correction inmates on work release are on satellite monitoring and have to pay to participate in the program.

“All inmates start out paying 50 percent of their wages,” he says. “They are allowed a 12-hour workday, six days a week but are not allowed to work holidays.”

Owen was sentenced to a 23-year sentence in the Stillwater prison and was currently at a facility in Red Wing, a 45-bed adult minimum security unit where prisoners learn a trade to transition back into the community.

His official release date is scheduled on Feb. 21, 2022, and has a supervised release date of Oct. 19, 2033.

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