ODOT to use inmates for litter removal
COLUMBUS — With the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) spending nearly $4 million and 206,221 man hours annually to remove litter along Ohio’s highways, a new joint program with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) will utilize local inmates from state-owned prisons to pick-up litter and save money.
“Litter is a totally preventable problem that wastes tax payer’s dollars. This new program will allow ODOT to focus on its primary goal of maintaining Ohio’s transportation system,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We are excited to have the help of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and look forward to working with them to keep Ohio’s roads clean and litter-free.”
“I am glad DRC was able to partner with ODOT in keeping Ohio’s roadways clean,” stated DRC Director Gary Mohr. “This partnership will not only assist ODOT in a focusing their resources on maintaining Ohio’s roads, but it will also provide a meaningful opportunity for offenders to give back to our communities.”
This agreement between ODOT and the Ohio DRC will begin July 2, 2012 with offenders from the Grafton and Mansfield Correctional Institutions. These two facilities, located in ODOT District 3, will be the first programs in the state, with the potential for other facilities to participate in the near future.
Inmates participating in the program will be low security level offenders who meet the eligibility requirements to work outside of the prison fence. Each inmate work crew will be appropriately supervised by DRC security staff and will be clearly identifiable to the public.
The pilot agreement between the two departments will be effective from July 1 to June 30, 2013. Debris in the roadway that may cause a hazard to the driving public and the removal of filled trash bags as the inmates perform the pick-up will remain the responsibility of ODOT.