Citing concerns about allowing prisoners out on work release in a summer camp setting, the Edgartown conservation commission decided this week to end a work release program between the Dukes County jail and the Farm Institute in Katama.

“Because it’s open to the public and there’s a summer camp there, it’s probably not a good idea for the Farm Institute to have a work release program,” conservation agent Jane Varkonda said at a meeting of the commission on Wednesday.

“I couldn’t agree more,” commission member Stuart Lollis said.

“Tell Jon [Previant, the institute’s executive director], no,” said commission member Christina Brown.

The Farm Institute, an educational nonprofit dedicated to teaching children about sustainable agriculture in a working farm setting, leases property at Katama Farm from the town.

The work release program allows prisoners at the jail out to perform community service work in various places around the Island, including the farm, where prisoners have been put to work repairing farm buildings and other chores.

The work release program came under scrutiny recently when Quincy Young, a prisoner who was out on work release, took a public bus to West Tisbury to visit a friend instead of traveling to the Farm Institute for work.

Mrs. Varkonda said yesterday that following the incident she was approached by Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby of the Edgartown police, who recommended that the town end the program at the Farm Institute.

This week the conservation commission readily agreed.

Reached by telephone yesterday, Mr. Previant said he has no comment on the recent incident, but that he was sorry to see the program come to an end.

“In the past we have worked with the sheriff’s department on that program. We’ve been a willing participant,” Mr. Previant said. “It’s too bad it didn’t end smoothly. When we’ve been approached in the past, we’ve always been helpful and it’s seemed to work well.”