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WCSO uses WCI inmates to help with work projects

Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel and Wakulla Correctional Institution Warden James Coker recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to allow the WCSO to use an allotment of up to 10 WCI inmates for work crews supervised by trained sheriff’s office personnel.

Deputy Leif Sparby heads up the WCSO Work Camp Unit and attended four days of training through the Department of Corrections Non DC Supervision of Inmates program. Officers Roy Crum, Maurice Herndon, John Metcalf and Gene Darby of the maintenance staff all received the training so they can use WCI inmates on various projects. The training included two days in the classroom and two days with the work crew inmates.

One of the five individuals who attended the training is responsible for picking up the inmates from the prison and delivering them back at the end of the day. Generally the prison work crew is four of five inmates. The WCSO can work the crew from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. under direct sight supervision.

The first day working for the WCI inmates was Monday, March 3 as a crew of four assisted Officer Roy Crum with county park maintenance, trash collection and mowing. The WCSO can also use the inmates on road trash details to meet the requirements of a state Department of Transportation agreement to keep state roads clean.
WCI does not allow the prison inmates to be mixed with WCSO trustee workers or work camp individuals fulfilling their court ordered work time.

Animal Control Director Ivanhoe Carroll has successfully used two prison inmates to perform tasks at the animal facility such as feeding and cleaning the animals and keeping the facility clean.
The WCI inmates are close to the end of their sentences and are eager to work in an effort to spend time outside the prison environment. WCSO staff reported that the first day the work crew was in action the job was done well and quickly. The WCI inmates wear blue outfits with their reflective vests. They are not allowed to work public events such as parades and festivals and would be required to leave a county facility if a school bus of children came to use it while they are working.

WCI also tracks the location of their inmates on a regular timed schedule to know where they are at all times. Their work is limited to weekdays only. As with work camp assignees and trustees, the WCSO will not work the inmates in inclement weather.

The addition of the WCI workers comes at a time when the WCSO is experiencing a downturn in the number of local inmates willing to serve as outside the facility work trustees. Trustees obtain some gain time for working while housed at the county jail.

“We appreciate WCI Warden Coker being willing to work with us and providing manpower to keep our county clean and attractive for our residents and those who choose to visit our community,” said Sheriff Charlie Creel. “We are excited to have the inmates at our disposal and we plan to use the entire group of 10 when it comes time to move our Criminal Investigations Division from the community center on Trice Lane to our brand new annex facility which should occur in the next month.”

 

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