Inmate workers install an obstacle for Special Olympics games
at the Dade High running track. Inmates are carefully screened
before being allowed on work details, says the Sheriff's Dept.
Spring is a great time to get out of the house, and according to the Dade County Sheriff’s Department, that goes for those in the “Big House,” too. The department reports that with all the good weather we’ve had, Dade inmate work details have accomplished multiple jobs throughout the community.
The 2015 total for trash cleared off county roads was 40,000 pounds. This does not include scrap metals and other recyclable materials. But in 2016, the inmate work crew has already cleared 25,000 pounds.
Inmates for the work detail are carefully selected via a “leveling system” at the jail, says the department. Those imprisoned for aggravated assault and other high-risk crimes are not eligible for offsite jobs.
Besides trash pickup, inmate workers help out all around Dade, assisting at the New Salem Community Center, the city of Trenton municipal jurisdiction, the American Legion and the Dade County court complex. They also mow lawns at the county schools.
Inmates work each day at the Trenton sewer plant, in the city parks, on road crews, at the county transfer station, in county recreational areas and at local government offices as general laborers. The Dade County administration estimates that inmate labor has saved the county $330,000 each year the program has operated.
Sheriff Ray Cross says he is proud to serve the county through providing inmate labor and adds that through the process inmates learn valuable work skills and acquire a sense of responsibility he hopes will help them transition back into the community.
The sheriff appreciates any feedback and suggestions citizens care to provide him and hopes the department may continue to serve the community by providing labor and resources, making any improvements necessary.