On December 13th, the Leon County Commission approved an agreement with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) for the use of Wakulla Correctional Institution inmates to continue providing roadside maintenance and other related jobs for the Public Works Department.
Leon County saves roughly $195,200 each year by utilizing inmate labor instead of hiring permanent full-time staff. Leon County and FDOC have been in contract for the utilization of Wakulla Correctional Institution inmates since 2012. The previous contract expired on August 16th 2022. The agreement will have a three-year term and can be extended for an additional three-year term.
Inmates who are classified as minimal custody prisoners can chose to volunteer to work for the Florida Department of Corrections to earn early release. Services provided by inmates includes making and laying sandbags, weed eating and mowing the right-of-way. Inmates that are accomplished in their work with County crews may use the work experience for future job applications. The agreement requires the County to provide properly certified inmate supervisors, transportation and equipment.
The Public Works Department also utilizes inmates from the Leon County Sheriff’s Pathways Program. Inmates who volunteer through the Leon County Pathways Program work alongside with the County’s litter control crews.
David Hawkins, the prison on capital circle is a federal prison. No inmates there are classified to work outside the gate. The only way to utilize inmate labor is if the feds open a “camp” classified prison. The state prisons are geared more towards community labor, especially the “work camps”, where inmate labor is utilized on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, you can’t use inmates at the local jail because most are not sentenced, unlike a prison where all are sentenced. If there were more sentenced then they could assign more inmates to do jobs in the community.
What I would like to know is, we have a Prison right here in Tallahassee on Capital Circle NE. YES it is a Woman’s Prison BUT, why can’t they do some of the Work that is needed around here? I see Women all the time driving Semi’s, 40′ Motorhomes, School Busses and Gray Hound Busses so I think some can drive a Tractor. The Prison has a lot of open Land, why can’t they Farm that Land and grow Crops for the Poor?
@Snidely — There was a time where prisons were actually run by the authorities and the inmates understood the rules. Today it seems that the authorities maintain the grounds and make sure the lights stay on, but what goes on within the prison walls is controlled by the incarcerated much more so than by the officials. Back in those “good old days” when someone went to prison he understood that he’d broken the rules and prison was his punishment. He still had enough honor to behave accordingly to give him a chance at freedom again.
I have no problem with minimum risk inmates being let out to perform manual labor tasks. With today’s technology though there’s not a lot of demand for that kind of unskilled labor. Need a ditch dug? A backhoe, ditch witch, or trenchless insertion can do the job so much faster and better than men with shovels. I hope that they can continue to find the kind of work that gives the guys some kind of satisfaction of a job well done!
Good post Pat. I’m not against the prison labor in principal just a few things to point out as a public service. Why cant the Leon County use our own county jail inmates? $195,200 sounds substantial but our elected officials waste millions on local woke unnecessary stuff. And speaking of woke let me pick up a handfull of stinky woke facts and rub it in Tallahassee/Leon’s woke elected officials face. When you drive by one of these work crews what do you see? I’ll tell you what you see: two or three white inmates on a crew of twenty with the remaining inmates being black. Hmmmm what could that possably mean as we apply it to our woke elected officials? Leon County elected plantation overseers pretend to be woke while running a back door black majority slave labor operation.
Now I know anyone can chime in and easly dispute what I just wrote. However if you look at it in the way it is intended its funny as heII to pick up a nugget of their smelly brown woke idology and rub it in our woke elected “plantation overseer’s” faces.
In the seventies, it was a common sight to see inmates in ditches swinging grass sickles working. They were working because it was manditory. Today, it is voluntary and it comes with rewards. Gadsden County is now providing inmates with notebooks if you can believe that. This is what being soft on crime looks like. Stop trying to negotiate with criminals, gangs and inmates. As Tony Baretta famously said, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”.