Inmates from the Monmouth County jail assisted with storm damage clean up for two days in Spring Lake, in and around the borough’s parks. The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Labor Program, offers much needed assistance to towns, and helps lessen financial burdens they face due to budget constraints. The recent Nor’easter caused a large amount of damage to the parks throughout Spring Lake and inmates are cleaning up debris in certain areas hit hard by the storm. “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 with storm damage recovery in our communities is a cost savings example of shared services.”
The work crew from the Inmate Labor Program was in Spring Lake on March 31 and April 1. 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 challenging economic times,” said Spring Lake Police Chief Robert Dawson.
In 2009, inmates involved in the program worked more than 10,000 hours 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.
“Inmate labor is one of the oldest examples of shared services,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Robert D. Clifton. “It also helps the work crew give something back to society.” 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.