Georgia Prison Inmate Labor Program

Millions of dollars and possibly thousands of employees could be cut from the Georgia Department of Corrections this year, so area jails are saving money from within.

"We run 11 inmates that work in here. We do all our own cooking, we have two that go out in the garbage truck with the county, we have two that go out in the county and help when they're playing ball."

The free labor inmates provide saves counties and jails throughout the state about $1 million a year. Jail administrators say putting the inmates to work not only helps the system cut costs, it also helps the inmates find jobs when they're released. This is getting them back on a schedule, getting them used to working again.

"Mostly what I like to do is yard work, that's what I'm going to do when I get out, and I've been doing yard work for these people here too."

Jail administrators in Grady County say the money the inmates save each year far outweighs their costs of living, but the inmates say that's not their main incentive, and once they're out their efforts will be awarded with a paycheck.

Only very well behaved prisoners with less serious criminal backgrounds are allowed to work. Jail employees estimate that $149,000 a year is saved by inmate employees in Grady County alone.