PRESTONSBURG – Inmates in the work release program at the Floyd County Detention Center continue to provide a much-needed service in Floyd County. Inmates working on work release give back to the community by picking up trash along roadways, digging graves, mowing cemeteries and a variety of other jobs.
Inmates are classed one through five. Inmates classified one or two are allowed to leave the confinements of the detention center and go out into the community and work. Although they are allowed to leave the detention center, work release inmates are still monitored at all times.
“Currently, we have six inmates that go out of the facility for work release,” said Floyd County Jailer Stuart “Bear” Halbert. “We take care of over 100 cemeteries and have dug over 100 graves.”
Bill Henniger and Dwayne Marsillett supervise the work release inmates when they leave the detention center.
“It is really good that inmates are able to give back to the community instead of simply taking up tax dollars. Everyone knows the cost of keeping up inmates is a dead expense to the county and state. Using them to perform jobs in the community allows the citizens and the county to benefit from their incarceration,” said Rita Howell of Ivel.
Funding of local jails operations is shared between the county and the state. A portion of the inmates housed in most detention centers across the state are actually state inmates that could be housed in a state prison. Due to prison overcrowding during the early 1980’s the state of Kentucky began using county jails to house inmates sentenced to prison. It is a win for both the prison system and the detention center, because the corrections department have a place to house their inmates and the detention center gets paid. The Kentucky Department of Corrections pays county jails at least $31.34 per state prison per day.
Being chosen for work release is not only good because the inmate gets to leave the facility, but for every month they are on the work release program they get 11 days off their sentence.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.