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Inmate labor a good deal

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By The Staff

Sixty-three cents. That’s the best deal going these days.

For each day a Taylor County Detention Center inmate works in our community, that’s how much it costs taxpayers.

Inmate labor isn't new to our community - inmates have cleaned our roads for several years. But now inmates can help rescue and fire personnel with the duties that often go overlooked when there are not enough hours in the day.

Since only non-violent offenders are eligible for work detail, we feel the community is fairly safe. But it's always good to be aware of where the inmates are and what they are doing. The yellow T-shirt each is now required to wear is a great way to identify them.

Another benefit is that the Department of Corrections provides free training for those who supervise the inmates. That training  - and the wages the inmates earn - are paid for by the state.

So we get nearly-free labor from people who probably are glad to spend time outdoors and have something productive to do while serving out their punishment. Sounds like a win-win situation.

However, we do need to remember that they are inmates and we need to keep our eyes on them. After all, just last month one inmate walked away from a work detail at the animal shelter.

Hopefully, adjustments in policy that have since taken place, such as the yellow shirts, will ensure that such an event is less likely in the future.

We believe our 63 cents is being put to good use.