In a tight economy, it's easy to crunch through a county budget.
"We're always looking for some way to save money," says Benton County Judge Bob Clinard, about cutting costs with convicts.
"We have struck a deal with Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck to dedicate an inmate work crew to the road department to work every day, cleaning brush, roadways and bridges," he says. "Doing the kind of work that we would have to hire done if we didn't have them working for us."
And the estimated savings?
"Somewhere around 700, 800, 900 dollars a day," says Clinard.
But it's not just a plus for the county.
"They can work off some of the time that they have to spend in jail," he says.
It's a volunteer opportunity, only given to the most trusted inmates.
"We have a screening process that we check these inmates. They're low level misdemeanors. We make sure they have no gang affiliations, no violent history, anything like that, so it's a perfectly safe program," says Captain Jeremy Guyll with the Benton County Jail.
"It's a great cooperative effort, it's safe, it saves the county a whole lot of money," Clinard says.
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