Last updated: April 09. 2014 7:09PM - 484 Views
By - densinger@civitasmedia.com

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Some Delaware County Jail inmates will soon be helping to pay their debts to society by keeping the county’s roadways clear of trash.

The Delaware County commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a one-year contract between the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for work crews made up of jail inmates to perform litter cleanup duties along state roadways in the county.

“The inmates would be guarded by uniformed deputies,” said DCSO’s Chief Deputy Pat Yankee.

Those deputies will be provided with roadside safety training by ODOT officials, according to the contract.

ODOT will also be responsible for covering overtimes expenses of supervising deputies at a rate of $45.78 per hour.

The maximum amount of the contract is $50,000.

The contract runs through June 30, 2015. However, it includes a clause that allow both sides to mutually extend it in two-year increments.

The establishment of a prisoner work program was approved last month by the county commissioners.

The program will be voluntary and restricted to inmates with at least a 30-day sentence who have committed no violent crimes for at least the prior two years, Delaware County Sheriff Russ Martin said.

The criteria is even more strict for prisoners who will be working outdoors. To qualify for an outside detail, an inmate must not be jailed for a first- or second-degree felony.

Those participating could qualify for a reduced sentence. However, that is ultimately up to the court in which they were sentenced.

Martin said last month that he is in talks with several political subdivisions about expanding the program.

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