(1) When the conduct, behavior, mental attitude, and conditions indicate that a person committed to the department and the general society of the state will be benefited, and there is reason to believe that the best interests of the people of the state and the person committed to the department will be served thereby, in that order, and upon the recommendation of the board in the case of each committed offender, the director may authorize such person, under prescribed conditions, to:
(a) Visit a specifically designated place or places and return to the same or another facility. An extension of limits may be granted to permit a visit to a dying relative, attendance at the funeral of a relative, the obtaining of medical services, the contacting of prospective employers, or for any other reason consistent with the public interest;
(b) Work at paid employment or participate in a training program in the community on a voluntary basis whenever:
(i) Such paid employment will not result in the displacement of employed workers, or be applied in skills, crafts, or trades in which there is a surplus of available gainful labor in the locality, or impair existing contracts for services; and
(ii) The rates of pay and other conditions of employment will not be less than those paid or provided for work of similar nature in the locality in which the work is to be performed; or
(c) Leave the facility to participate in substance abuse evaluations or treatment, attend rehabilitative programming or treatment, seek residency or employment, or participate in structured programming as provided in section 83-182.01 and return to the same or another facility. The department shall collaborate with community-based providers to enhance the availability of community-based options for such participation that meet the department's requirements for rehabilitative programming or treatment or structured programming.
(2) The wages earned by a person authorized to work at paid employment in the community under this section shall be credited by the chief executive officer of the facility to such person's wage fund. The director shall authorize the chief executive officer to withhold up to five percent of such person's net wages. The funds withheld pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit as provided in subsection (2) of section 33-157.
(3) A person authorized to work at paid employment in the community under this section may be required to pay, and the director is authorized to collect, such costs incident to the person's confinement as the director deems appropriate and reasonable. Collections shall be deposited in the state treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
(4) A person authorized to work at paid employment in the community under this section may be required to pay restitution. The director shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations which will protect the committed offender's rights to due process and govern the collection of restitution as provided in section 83-184.01.
(5) The willful failure of a person to remain within the extended limits of his or her confinement or to return within the time prescribed to a facility designated by the director may be deemed an escape from custody punishable as provided in section 28-912.
(6) No person employed in the community under this section or otherwise released shall, while working in such employment in the community or going to or from such employment or during the time of such release, be deemed to be an agent, employee, or servant of the state.