For almost a decade, the Leon County Sheriff's Office has been using its inmates to work off its debt to society.
Larry Campbell, Leon County Sheriff, says, "We're doing things for charitable organizations, we're helping the universities, we do work for the county and the city. I figure it's $1 million plus in a year."
The sheriff's workers are used for litter pickup along the roads, median maintenance and other manual labor
Dale Walker of Leon County Public Works says, "The cost savings comes in the fact that we are not having to hire people into positions that are very difficult to hire for."
And while the sheriff and county Public Works agree that a lot of money is being saved and a lot of work is being done, Sheriff Campbell says there's another, maybe even more important benefit to the program.
"Absolutely. It's teaching some of them a work ethic. I have to work everyday, you have to work everyday. I don't think jail should be a vacation. This teaches them some work ethic and some of them learn if they stay straight they can be gainfully employed as soon as they get out and number have done that. We want to stop that revolving door," Campbell says.
Dale Walker adds, "It does change lives. Inmates can learn new skills. We have had zero problems."