Inmates to pick up trash – Will Mansfield or Richland County follow?

MANSFIELD — Scott Basquin looks at a new prison inmate program to help clean the state’s highways as a win-win situation.

“It helps the community, but it helps the offender also,” said Basquin, a spokesman for Mansfield Correctional Institution. “It reduces idleness and provides a job for them in the spirit of community.”

A joint program between the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction kicked off recently. The initiative uses inmates from MANCI and Grafton Correctional Institution to pick up litter and save money.

ODOT spends nearly $4 million and uses more than 206,000 man hours annually to remove litter.

“Litter is a totally preventable problem that wastes taxpayers’ dollars. This new program will allow ODOT to focus on its primary goal of maintaining Ohio’s transportation system,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said. “We are excited to have the help of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and look forward to working with them to keep Ohio’s roads clean and litter-free.”

To start, five MANCI inmates are helping pick up litter on Ohio 13, Interstate 71 and U.S. 30 to the county boundaries. A full crew would be 10.

The inmates are low-security offenders whose crimes were not violent or sexual in nature.

“They’re all screened,” Basquin said. “They are recommended by the institution and approved through our (central office) in Columbus.”

While they are picking up litter, the inmates will be supervised by ODRC security staff and will be clearly identifiable to the public. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Mansfield post will be notified where the inmates will be each weekday.

The pilot program will continue through June 30, 2013. MANCI and Grafton are the first prisons in the state to participate, but others may do so in the future.

mcaudill@nncogannett.com
419-521-7219
Twitter: @MNJCaudill

Original link, some comments below that are blocked on their site – here’s one!

Phil Sydnor · School of Hard Knocks

Now maybe when they see this works and SAVES taxpayers money they can implement this in Mansfield or better yet at the County level instead of raising our taxes that are suppressing growth!. The ONLY thing it seems our local leaders are thinking about it how to keep their dreams alive and adding jobs that are solely dependent on tax dollars. Time for the same TOUGH decisions to be made locally, lets see if the Mayor or Commissioners can dream up something like this instead of the status quo “When the money runs dry, Tax some more” mentality!.
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One Response to Inmates to pick up trash – Will Mansfield or Richland County follow?

  1. buckeyesyd says:

    What people are saying so far!

    Phil Sydnor · School of Hard Knocks
    Now maybe when they see this works and SAVES taxpayers money they can implement this in Mansfield or better yet at the County level instead of raising our taxes that are suppressing growth!. The ONLY thing it seems our local leaders are thinking about it how to keep their dreams alive and adding jobs that are solely dependent on tax dollars. Time for the same TOUGH decisions to be made locally, lets see if the Mayor or Commissioners can dream up something like this instead of the status quo “When the money runs dry, Tax some more” mentality!.
    Reply · Like · Unfollow Post · 8 minutes ago

    Tim Theodorou · Top commenter · 29 years old
    We need to use them for more such details. Litter, cover graffiti, etc.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

    Michelle L. Harden · Eastern High School
    I agree with you here also, our tax money at work that they use in comfort
    Reply · Like · about an hour ago

    Dale Warren · Top commenter · Works at Self retired
    Strong step in the right direction.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

    Robin Brewer · Ashland, Ohio
    Well its about time.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

    Kim Mains
    They do that around here!! People in orange and white jumpsuits do all kinds of cleanups around town and surrounding areas.
    Reply · Like · about an hour ago

    Clydesdale Del · Top commenter · Muskingum University
    No! No fresh air, and certainly no nonessential physical activity!

    Such full human benefits defeats the purpose of holding someone in prison for months or years. The “idle” part of incarceration is for use by the offendant to reflect on the error of his ways.

    Also, the gimping of cell life helps assure that once released, the offender is too weak to climb into unoccupied homes or beat his wife, whatever social offense earned him a prison term in the first place.

    They’re there to suffer, not to serve the public.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

    Barbara Fultz · Crestview
    Maybe we can call it a chain gang,what a concept .How many million taxpayer dollars were spent on developing this this cutting edge use prison inmates?
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

    Charlotte Smith · Subscribe · Mansfield, Ohio
    I have seen this in many states. And is a great idea. The prison used to have a working farm, a wood shop. Back then they earned their stay and it should be that way. Good going!
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · 8 minutes ago

    No Bull · Top commenter · Mansfield, Ohio
    Kim Mains, those guys you see in the stripes are RCSO inmate trustees, that program has been in effect for many years.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · 51 seconds ago

    Joe Rauzi · Top commenter
    Been doing this in NC for over 25 years and it works great.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

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