Four inmates from the Monmouth County jail spent most of their time in Howell Township the week of May 7th, where they assisted with beautification projects and debris cleanup as part of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Labor Program. Most of the work took place at the municipal complex on Preventorium Road and the Global Corporate Center on Route 9, the future site of the new municipal building.
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Labor Program offers much needed assistance to towns throughout the year 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 projects such as landscaping, debris cleanup and storm damage recovery in our communities 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. “Inmate labor is an outstanding example of shared services,” said Freeholder Lillian Burry. “It also helps the inmates reintegrate back into the community while repaying a debt to society.”
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. “This is a great example of government agencies working together during challenging economic times,” said Rob Nicastro, Howell Township Councilman. “I commend the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office for maintaining this program.”
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.