Inmates from the helped clean up large amounts of debris and brush throughout the area as part of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Labor Program.
For three days, five inmates were transported to the several parks in Freehold Borough that suffered extensive damage from the storm.
According to a press release from the Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office, inmates cleared away fallen debris and brush from uprooted trees which lined the areas, and restored the appearance of the parks. Having inmates assist in cleaning up the parks also helped the Borough financially.
“I’m glad the sheriff’s office is able to provide such a valuable resource to municipalities through our Inmate Labor Program,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “The use of inmate labor to assist our communities with storm damage recovery is a costs savings example of shared services.”
The work crew from the Inmate Labor Program was in Freehold Borough from Aug. 15 through Aug. 18. Offenders incarcerated for minor offenses with records of good behavior are eligible to be a part of the program. Inmates who enroll in the program participate in work projects as an alternative to spending their time in jail.
"This is a great example of government agencies working together during difficult times,” said Council President Sharon Shutzer. “It not only helps the towns save money but also helps the work crew give back to society.”
Past inmate labor projects have included carpentry, painting, working with parks and public works departments and the restoration of historic sites including a Civil War era cemetery.
The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office conducted the Inmate Labor Program for 124 days in 2011, with 992 hours dedicated to working on a range of 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.