Since the beginning of April, low-risk inmates from the Taylor County Detention Center have been cleaning up common areas at Dyess Air Force Base, located outside of Abilene, Texas, under a partnership between the Air Force and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.
The inmates, escorted by an officer, have been clearing areas of weeds and debris, reported BigCountryhomepage.com. The Air Force is receiving the inmates’ services for free.
“We’re not paying them, they’re not paying us. In the future, I’m sure there will be some sort of cross training between some of our officers and some of their personnel, and maybe even do some more specialized training for some of our people,” said Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop.
The arrangement was inspired by a similar one at Maxwell AFB, Ala., in which minimum security inmates are keeping the base clean.
The detention center isn’t always able to send an officer to escort the cleanup crews, but when an event is scheduled, such as this past weekend’s air show at Dyess, the sheriff’s office tries to make cleaning crews available.
“One thing about the work crew is that it helps to save money throughout the community. Not only off base, but on base as well, because that’s less money that the base has to pay to get things done,” Bishop said. “We can help them out by trying to speed their process along to try to beautify things a little bit better with some of our labor.”