Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Encourages Skilled Inmates To Give Back

Reported by: James Mahon
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Updated: 4/01/2014 7:25 pm
WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA, (WDEF)- It's a sunny day at Coahulla Creek High School and Whitfield County inmates are helping to reclaim and landscape the grounds.

The scheme has been running for over 20 years and is not your run of the mill garbage pick up inmate program.

Sheriff Scott Chitwood,"Highly skilled trained carpenter, brick mason, painters, if we have a job on tap we will utilize their skills, it makes them feel good, most of the guys that are on the trustee status".

Last year alone The Sheriff's Office saved 75,000 dollars worth of contractor fees for the County.

"They are very polite they know of they mess up, they go to general population"

Over the course of 20 years for these type of programs only one person has ever escaped.

Captain Wes Lynch,"None of this is forced labor, I don't know if that has been made clear, all these guys, volunteer for this, its something they enjoy doing and as a matter of fact we have more volunteers for these things than we can actually have positions"

Lynch added it is rewarding when they can train and provide skills to inmates to prepare them for life outside.

He added the inmates are carefully chosen and only the ones who do not pose a threat to society are given the opportunity.

Whitfield County owned and operated buildings as well as major renovations  to the 911 center are all being done this Spring by skilled inmates.

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Sophie Katt - 4/2/2014 11:57 AM
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We cannot continue to just WAREHOUSE human beings for the sake of a better bottom-line for the prison industry. If this Sheriff lets workers who WANT to work, out and about among the citizens? Good for him! THE VAST MAJORTIY OF PRISONERS ARE NON-VIOLENT, and working keeps them busy, keeps them from hurting and killing each other, keeps their mind on something else besides themselves and their problems. This is a GREAT idea! Let them do it! They need to work, because it's GOOD for them to work. And it shows them, they can be trusted, trusted to do a good job, trusted to act right, and with increased trust, comes increased confidence. I'm glad this Sheriff is thinking in such a progressive manner. Wish ALL law enforcement would do the same.......
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