The Polk County Inmate Work Program helped accomplished 247 projects in 2018. Inmates in the program, convicted of crimes like traffic violations and drug charges, are able to avoid jail time by doing court-ordered community service.
Picking up trash is one of the primary duties assigned to those in the program. They help keep our parks, schools and public facilities clean. They painted government buildings, completed landscaping projects for county, state, and city properties, cleaned up the Sheriff’s Youth Villa and rehabilitated a cemetery.
Inmates worked more than 207,592 hours and ultimately saved taxpayers $1,934,757.44 (calculated at $9.32 per hour). Not only does the program keep government costs down, it saves the county on labor to keep roads, government buildings, and public properties clean and maintained. Inmates collected 37,757 bags of trash, collected 4,222 discarded tires, and cleaned 2,672 miles of roads.
In addition to the obvious financial and aesthetic benefits, it is hoped that the men and women sentenced to the program learned from their mistakes, become better stewards in the community, and feel proud that their hard work has made Polk County an even better place to live, work, and play.