Mississippi County Prisoners Helping Marmaduke - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Marmaduke, AR--Brett Garrett

Mississippi County Prisoners Helping Marmaduke

MARMADUKE, AR--Have you ever wondered who cleans up after Arkansas State football games or who keeps drainage ditches in the area clear of debris? The answer, the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Anywhere you find a state prison you will find a work release unit. Tuesday, a crew from Mississippi County was repaying their debt to society while rebuilding the tornado torn town of Marmaduke.

A creek in Marmaduke is flowing freely for the first time in over a year, thanks to inmates of the Mississippi County Work Release Unit.

"We hope to be here about two weeks and hopefully make a change in the city," said Joe Porchia, warden of the unit.

Following April 2nd's tornado, downed trees and junk filled the creek bed making it a flooding nightmare every time it rains; however the county hasn't had the resources to fix the problem until the Arkansas Department of Corrections stepped in to help. 

"You see inmates out working, that gives the people in the community a good feeling because the inmates are out doing something productive," said Porchia.

Porchia has worked with the program for 13 years. He says it offers prisoners the chance to repay society and learn valuable life lessons.

"Number one it builds a good work ethic and number two it gives them a good attitude," said Porchia.

The unit is made up of four officers and 40 inmates who have less than 30 months left on their sentence.

Porchia likes his job because it offers him the opportunity to be a positive force in an inmate's life.

"I enjoy getting out and being able to make a difference in the inmate's lives. Just sometimes by giving a little instruction and guidance it goes a long way," said Porchia.

If inmates work hard in this program, the next step is finding them jobs in the community to help them earn money and build a nest egg for when they are released.

"When they don't come back we feel proud by that. When we can see them somewhere, other than prison, like Wal Mart or on the streets, that's our goal right there," said Porchia.

Over the next two weeks, the inmates will lend a helping hand to the rebuilding effort in Marmaduke.

According to Greene County Judge Jesse Dollars, the unit will help save the county over a half million dollars.

 

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • New business comes to Bono

    New business comes to Bono

    Friday, March 24 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:38:07 GMT
    Friday, March 24 2017 11:45 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:45:53 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    One-third of the Jim Co Factory building in Bono will now be used as another factory, bring six to eight jobs to the city.

    One-third of the Jim Co Factory building in Bono will now be used as another factory, bring six to eight jobs to the city.

  • Man arrested for setting landlord's house on fire

    Man arrested for setting landlord's house on fire

    Friday, March 24 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:43:55 GMT
    George Keller (Source: Sharp County Sheriff's Department)George Keller (Source: Sharp County Sheriff's Department)

    A Sharp County man faces arson and burglary charges after authorities say he set his former landlord’s home on fire. The landlord was later arrested on drug charges.

    A Sharp County man faces arson and burglary charges after authorities say he set his former landlord’s home on fire. The landlord was later arrested on drug charges.

  • Mayor hopes to recreate history in new park

    Mayor hopes to recreate history in new park

    Friday, March 24 2017 11:24 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:24:13 GMT
    Friday, March 24 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:32:49 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    With Bono Legacy Park still in the works, the mayor is looking to recreate a piece of history that would remind residents of the city’s past.

    With Bono Legacy Park still in the works, the mayor is looking to recreate a piece of history that would remind residents of the city’s past.

Powered by Frankly