Why don't Erie County inmates pick up trash?
Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth provided the following answer:
We can only consider using jail prisoners convicted of non-violent offenses for trustee or community service details.
Out of the 140 prisoners that we are housing as this is written (April 25) only 14 are convicted. The others are not convicted and await further court action.
Of those 14 prisoners that would then be eligible for trustee or community service work, seven are used in the jail kitchen on a daily basis to assist in preparing and/or serving meals. Their work drives down the cost of meals served in the jail as paid employees are not needed to perform those tasks.
Of the other 7 that are eligible today:
• Three are working in the jail laundry — again decreasing the overall operating cost of the facility.
• Three are working at cleaning duties within the jail.
• One prisoner was sent out to the county landfill for a work detail there.
We do, on an as-needed basis and with proper supervision, send out eligible prisoners to work for various non-profit entities including the county's landfill, fairgrounds, clerk of courts, solid waste district and/or various local highway departments to assist with special projects, such as storm cleanup.