Inmate's status angers victim

In April, Scott Ryan Woods, 32, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his second felony conviction for driving under the influence. He was ordered to serve a minimum of 30 months before he was eligible for parole.

Last week, Woods was out of prison and on residential supervision under Nevada's 305 program that allows inmates convicted of drunk driving to serve their sentences in the community under certain conditions.

Woods appeared before District Judge Dave Gamble to set up a payment schedule to make $6,500 restitution to the victim whose two vehicles Woods totaled a year ago.

He was arrested Nov. 11, 2007, after he crashed into a total of three vehicles near his parents' home in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Woods was driving with a blood-alcohol content of .30, nearly four times the legal limit for driving in Nevada.

In addition to being drunk, he was driving with a suspended license and without insurance. Following his November 2007 arrest, Woods was picked up two more times for being under the influence prior to sentencing.

Gamble ordered Woods to pay $50 a month until he finds a job when the monthly payments will increase.

The victim, who attended the Dec. 9 hearing, was irate that Woods was already out of prison.

"You're looking at over 11-1/2 years to pay this debt back," the man said. "You sentenced him to prison for 10 years and he's out in less than 11 months. What I see is no accountability."

Gamble pointed out that Woods was out of the institution but had not been released and technically still was in custody.

"This is for certain an imperfect system," Gamble said.

Gamble pointed out that the victim could file civil action against Woods to collect the restitution. If the defendant fails to find work, he'll be in violation of his release.

The statute provides for inmates convicted of driving under the influence or DUI causing death or substantial bodily harm to serve a portion of their incarceration under the division's house arrest program. Though the offenders are serving their prison sentence in the community, they retain their inmate status throughout their supervision. A zero tolerance policy is instituted with these offenders.

Once a probationer or parolee has been assigned to the Intensive Supervision Unit they are subjected to increased community contact from their assigned officer, frequent drug and alcohol testing, searches, surveillance, and a lower tolerance for noncompliant behavior.

Officers in the Intensive Supervision Unit maintain smaller caseloads in order to provide closer community supervision, according to the department of corrections.

Candidates for the program must be within a year of a possible parole or discharge on their last sentence; have a reasonable prospect of employment and residence approved by the Division of Parole and Probation; have no felony conviction involving the use or threat of force within the preceding three years; have no violence in the current offense, and be eligible for minimum custody.

Proponents of the program say it relieves prison overcrowding and gets the inmate back to work and able to pay restitution to their victims.


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