Mecklenburg County's sheriff said he wants to open his work release jail to inmates who are about to be released from prison.
The sheriff said it would help them ease back into the community and make them less likely to go back to a life of crime.
"I am currently looking for a job right now," said former inmate Dominique Nevills.
Nevills is starting over, out of prison and back home in Charlotte, finding out that it is hard for employers to see past his record.
"It is like once you tell them that they just immediately let you out of the door," said Nevills.
Every month about 100 inmates come straight from prison to Mecklenburg County.
Eric Ortega counsels ex-inmates and tries to help them confront the challenges they face every day.
"They are trying to get adjusted back into society, looking for employment, transitioning back, and they need support," said Ortega.
That is where Mecklenburg County's sheriff said they can help.
"I've advocated, let us have them the last three or four months of their sentence," said Sheriff Chipp Bailey.
Bailey wants to bring state inmates who are about to get out into the county's work release unit to help them find a job and ease them back into the community.
"We have been successful in the past locally doing it. I don't see any reason why we couldn't help transition those coming out of the state prison system," said Bailey.
The sheriff said he has the bed space here now to begin accepting work release inmates. It is a matter now of getting the state to agree.
County leaders have talked with the state about the plan and it may all come down to money, who will pay if state inmates come to a county facility?
But Ortega said anything that will help someone like Nevills ease back into the community will pay off in the long run. "We know that if they could find stability and transition successfully there is a less likely chance for them going back to prison," said Ortega.
Mecklenburg County leaders have talked with the state about taking work release inmates here, but said the talks are on hold while the state prison system goes through a management change.