Inmates from Monmouth County Correctional Institution spent four days helping restore the Oakley Farm House in Freehold as part of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Labor Program.
The inmates painted the historic landmark and cleaned up debris from the winter’s storms from Monday, April 4 to Thursday, April 7 in preparation for the “Weekend in Old Monmouth” tour. The event runs on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1.
“The inmate labor program is invaluable to us here at Oakley Farm. Without this type of assistance we would not be able to maintain the historic integrity of our structures,” said Cheryl Cook, former chair of the Freehold Township Historic Preservation Commission and founder of the Freehold Township Heritage Society.
Offenders incarcerated for nonviolent, minor offenses and who have records of good behavior are eligible to participate in the Inmate Labor Program, which offers assistance to towns. Inmates who enroll in the program participate in work projects as an alternative to spending the day in jail.
“I’m glad the sheriff’s office is able to provide such a valuable resource to municipalities through our Inmate Labor Program,” Sheriff Shaun Golden said.
In 2010, inmates involved in the program worked more than 7,500 hours on projects. The Sheriff’s Office transports and provides the security of the inmate labor crews. Requests for inmate labor teams are made to the program coordinator Medora Morris, and are evaluated in terms of the needs and feasibility of the project.
Inmate labor projects in the past have included carpentry, painting, working with parks and public works departments and even restoring a Civil War era cemetery.