Freehold: The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Labor Program was in full in operation in Freehold to help restore Lake Topanemus Park for the upcoming summer season. During the week of April 28, five inmates were transported to Lake Topanemus from the Monmouth County Correctional Institutional where they trimmed trees, cleared brush away from the lakefront, weeded, mulched and cleaned up debris around the area of the playground. 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.
“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 the cleanup of our communities and storm damage recovery is a cost savings example of shared services.”
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.
Last year, 1260 hours were dedicated to working on a range of projects through the Inmate Labor Program. 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.
“This program not only helps the towns save money on labor but also assists the work crew in giving back to society,” said Sheriff Golden.
Past inmate labor projects have included cleanup from storm damage recovery, carpentry, painting, working with parks and public works departments and the restoration of historic sites including a Civil War era cemetery.