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Franklin County Jail resumes roadside cleanup program

Franklin County Jail resumes roadside cleanup program

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The Franklin County Jail is resuming its inmate roadside cleanup program after a year-long hiatus sparked by the pandemic.

The program, which cleared 4,555 bags of trash off county roads in 2019, will be expanding its schedule from three days per week to six days per week as it was able to hire a second part-time officer who can supervise the work crews.

Roads are scheduled for trash cleanup on a rotating calendar with traffic levels, safety considerations and weather factored in, officials said.

The sheriff’s office hopes to draw on new legislation passed last year that allows trusty inmates to earn credits toward their court fees and fines in exchange for this type of community service work.

Officials are working with the courts now to try and establish that system. The credit formula will be set by the courts.

The county jail has about 30 inmates in its trusty program at any one time, officials said. Six are typically assigned to the roadside crew.

The road program was largely paused in March 2020, with a brief exception at one point in the summer, due to COVID-19 precautions.

The sheriff’s office urged drivers to be mindful of the workers by slowing down and, if possible, moving over while passing to give them a safe berth. The presence of a crew up ahead on a road is often signaled by the sight of bright orange trash bags dotting a roadside.

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