Sharp County renewing inmate ‘community works’ program

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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ASH FLAT, Ark. (KAIT) - Prisoners are returning to work in Sharp County after a nearly two-year break.

The county’s community work program allows municipalities and other organizations to use the men and women incarcerated in Sharp County for labor.

Chief Deputy Shane Russell explained that labor isn’t just beneficial to one side.

“The inmates, considering what they’re in for, get to go out in the community and work off some of their fines,” Russell said. “They get paid so much per day that they work, and that goes to paying off some of their fines.”

Chief Russell says the work can vary between jobs.

“They may be from anywhere from cutting brush to picking up trash,” Russell said. “They recently helped move the furniture around here in the courthouse when the new flooring was laid. Many things like that.”

He explained the program gives prisoners a different working environment.

“They get to get out and do work for the community,” Russell said. “Of course, it’s beneficial for them, but it also gets them out in a positive light.”

With the structure of a job, Russell says it can be more than just a paycheck.

“There is a lot to be said about a job,” he said. “It’s more than just a paycheck sometimes. It can be stability and structure, which some people need.”

Municipalities interested in the community works program should contact the Sharp County District Clerk’s Office for more information.