- Two men seriously hurt in crash near Fruitland (9/21/16)3
- Driver charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 (9/27/16)
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)9
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
- Funeral procession of former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke (9/22/16)17
- Cape man accused of attacking pregnant girlfriend (9/22/16)
- Planning, design puts renovations of H-H building into hotel on hold (9/26/16)5
- Show Me Center upgrades may allow facility to draw more elaborate shows (9/21/16)17
- Woman accused of pushing Wal-Mart employee after theft (9/27/16)
Low-cost cleaning crews
Reflecting the public's resistance to soft treatment for inmates, journalist Warren Hinckle described a sentence at the federal minimum security camp in California as "doing ping-pong time at Lompoc."
In Missouri, some minimum-security inmates even get to leave the prison and spend the day outside, but they will be sweating, and their work saves the state millions of dollars annually in highway cleanup costs.
About 340 state prison inmates are working along Missouri roads on a given day. These are prisoners who have a history of good conduct and are nearing release from prison. Their crimes were not violent.
Work crews from the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Mo., have been picking up refuse along Interstate 55 and near Westfield Shoppingtown West Park. The inmates do other kinds of work as well, including cleaning Missouri Department of Transportation trucks and mowing around MoDOT sheds. They are not allowed to drive vehicles.
MoDOT estimates the prison labor has saved the state about $13 million so far in 2004.
Making use of prisoner help isn't limited to the state. Inmates at the Cape Girardeau County Jail help clean up the county parks and Courthouse Park.
Obviously, some inmates value the opportunity to work outside the prison. The work they do makes reparations for their crimes and benefits us all.