Section 49. The commissioner of correction, or the administrator of a county correctional facility, subject to rules and regulations established in accordance with the provisions of this section, may permit an inmate who has served such a portion of his sentence or sentences that he would be eligible for parole within eighteen months to participate in education, training, or employment programs established under section forty-eight outside a correctional facility; provided that no committed offender who is serving a life sentence or a sentence in a state or county correctional facility for violation of section thirteen, 14, 15, 15A, 15B, 16, 17, 18, 18A, 19, 20, 21, 24B, 25, or section 26 of chapter 265, or section 17, 34, or 35, of chapter two hundred and seventy-two, or for an attempt to commit any crime referred to in said sections shall be eligible to participate in education, training or employment programs outside a correctional facility, as established under section forty-eight, except on the recommendation of the superintendent of the correctional facility or superintendent of a county correctional facility on behalf of a particular committed offender and upon the approval of the commissioner or the administrator of a county correctional facility. No sex offender in the custody of the department of correction shall be eligible to participate in any program outside a correctional facility established under section forty-eight unless he has completed the department’s voluntary sex offender treatment program. The voluntary sex offender treatment program shall be administered pursuant to the rules and regulations of the department. No sex offender, or sexually dangerous person as defined in section 1 of chapter 123A, or any person who commits a sexual offense as defined in said section 1, or any person who violates section 24B of chapter 265 shall be eligible for any program outside a correctional facility authorized under section 48 or any other work release program authorized by law.
In the case of a committed offender who participates in any program outside a correctional facility established under section forty-eight, the time spent in such participation shall be credited toward the serving of his sentence in the same manner as though he had served such time within the facility. A committed offender enrolled in any such program shall remain subject to the rules and regulations of the correctional facility and shall be under the direction, control and supervision of the officers thereof during the period of his participation in the program. The commissioner or such administrator shall make and promulgate rules and regulations regarding programs established under section forty-eight outside correctional facilities. Such rules and regulations shall include provisions for reasonable periods of confinement to particular correctional facilities before a committed offender may be permitted to participate in such programs and provisions for feeding, housing and supervising participants in such programs in such manner as will be calculated to maintain morale and prevent the introduction of contraband to the facility.
If any inmate who participates in any program outside a correctional facility established under the provisions of section forty-eight leaves his place of employment, or having been ordered by the commissioner or such administrator to return to the correctional facility, neglects or refuses to do so, said inmate shall be held to have escaped from said prison or institution and shall, upon conviction of such escape, be sentenced, if the escape was from a state correctional facility, to a state correctional facility for a term of not less than three nor more than five years, and all deductions from the sentence or sentences he was serving at the time of such escape, authorized by section one hundred and twenty-nine, shall be forfeited, but said inmate shall be entitled to a deduction of sentence on any sentence imposed for said escape and if the escape was from a county correctional facility, to a county correctional facility for a term not to exceed one year or the term for which he was originally sentenced, whichever is the lesser.
Committed offenders who are gainfully employed outside a correctional facility may be so employed by an agency of the commonwealth other than the department of correction or by public or private employers. The rates of pay and other conditions of employment for a committed offender so employed shall be the same as those paid or required in the locality in which the work is performed provided that no committed offender employed by an agency of the commonwealth shall be subject to sections nine A or nine B of chapter thirty, or chapter thirty-one, and in no case shall such rates of pay be less than those paid by his employer to other employees doing similar work. No committed offender shall be so employed at a place where there exists any strike or work stoppage arising from a labor dispute of any kind.