Inmate Work Crews Answer Towns' Call for Labor

02/06/2012

"The men worked very hard and took great pride in the outcome."

Butterfield School Auditorium

In calendar year 2011, the Sheriff's Office responded to 70 requests for inmate labor, saving Franklin County towns over $200,000, according to the Sheriff.

He said these are mostly small jobs that involve basic maintenance which, left undone, could cost towns much more down the road.  "The Butterfield School job was an exceptional effort that I am very proud of," Donelan said.  "The men worked very hard and took great pride in the outcome."

All together, the work crews completed projects in 16 towns.  Work was also done for a variety of churches and nonprofits in the county.

Among the projects completed by the inmates:  groundskeeping and painting at the Greenfield Middle School, fence removal and playground restoration at the Montague Elementary School, painting and pool repairs for the Buckland Recreation Department, painting the library in Colrain, landscaping at the Veterans Mall in Greenfield, and a variety of groundskeeping jobs at baseball fields, cemeteries and parks throughout the county.

"In the grand scheme of things, these projects may not seem so important," Donelan said, "but our libraries, schools, parks and baseball fields are where we build community and make memories.  To have these community resources unusable due to disrepair would be a tragedy."

Donelan said he tries to maintain two work crews to meet all the requests for help.  Lt. Ken Hubbard, Officer Kevin Gamache and Sgt. Andrew Conant make up the team responsible for supervising the work crews.  According to Donelan, these Officers not only supervise, but coordinate and teach in what he said has become one of the best vocational and training programs the House of Correction offers.

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