Prison inmates may fill Westmoreland County job spots
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Community service projects for inmates at Westmoreland County Prison could begin later this year to replace laborers from the State Correctional Institution at Greensburg, which will close by June 30.
Prison board members on Monday told Warden John Walton to begin drafting a policy to take volunteer inmate workers throughout the county to assist nonprofit groups with physical labor.
“I'd like to see us involved. It will be good for the county,” Commissioner Tyler Courtney said.
State officials said inmates at the state prison in Hempfield performed more than 19,000 hours of volunteer labor last year. Three crews of up to 10 inmates worked at Overly's Country Christmas, the Mt. Pleasant Glass Festival and the Youngwood Railroad Museum, among other locations.
Billie Heide, deputy superintendent at SCI Greensburg, who oversaw the community work program, said inmates also collected trash, planted flowers along highways, and painted and did maintenance at churches and local ball fields.
“We've never had (anyone) walk away. We've never had an escape,” Heide told the prison board.
Walton said the county likely could provide only one crew for local community works.
Walton said he will start planning a program that will identify nonviolent inmates for work outside the prison.
About 26 other county jails in Pennsylvania provide inmate labor for nonprofits, Walton said.
“We have a lot of institutional knowledge out there. We're not starting from scratch,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said.
State inmates still could be utilized for some projects, Heide said.
She told the prison board that state inmates can work on projects within 50 miles from where they are incarcerated. Heide said state inmates housed in Pittsburgh, Fayette, Somerset and Indiana counties could be used for jobs in Westmoreland County.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pair jailed in Hempfield drugstore robbery
- Westmoreland water authority signs off on DEP sanctions
- Duo sought in spate of Greensburg graffiti
- Westmoreland prosecutors want prison for Russian in gun case
- Homeowner flees Ligonier Township fire
- Ligonier officials may review legality of 2 council votes
- Audit finds Jeannette’s accounting deficient
- Unity Township salesman cleared in scam case sues police, car dealer
- Injuries reported in 2-vehicle crash in West Hempfield
- Unity supervisors adopt budget with no tax hike
- Mt. Pleasant holiday tour to feature homes, more