Inmate Work Crews Continue to be Productive on Cape Cod



BARNSTABLE – Inmate work crews from the Barnstable County Correctional Facility had another productive year across the Cape.

According to the Sheriff’s office, inmate work crews provided about $600,000 worth of labor in 14 of the 15 Cape towns in 2015, which was about $2,000 more than 2014.

Special Sheriff Jeff Perry says the communities and non-profits that receive the work are thankful for the program.

“We are doing projects that could not otherwise be done,” Perry said. “These are things that a town or a non-profit can’t financially afford to do. We are not out there taking work away from contractors.”

Inmates provided 21,630 hours of labor in 2015. The value is calculated using the state’s volunteer hourly labor rate, which is $27.50 per hour.

Projects include landscaping, cleanups and painting, along with re-roofing, re-siding and new construction projects when skilled tradesmen are available.

Perry said many of them have some real labor and trade skills.

“I think they are surprised by the quality of the work and I think they are surprised by the quality of the inmates that come out.”

The inmates are carefully selected and are classified to be outside the building.

A lot of the work included supplying and installing tents to non-profits and government agencies for fundraising events. The sheriff’s office said these projects saved tens of thousands of dollars.

Falmouth received 48 visits, including the reconstruction of a dock at Megansett Harbor, tree and stump removal at the Morse School and restoration work at Falmouth Housing Corporation sites.

Work crews were sent to Barnstable and its villages 39 times. The Cape Cod Model Railroad Club and Museum had a new staircase installed, sliding doors repaired and restorative and repainting work.

Bourne had 31 projects completed, including the construction of three new cabins and the demolition if a bathhouse for the Bourne Recreation Authority.

Joint Base Cape Cod also received support as 20 projects were completed on the military compound.

“This isn’t just about getting work done and giving community service for restitution,” Perry said. “It’s also about providing real vocational skills for these inmates.”

All of the inmates involved are getting out of jail soon and Perry said the community needs these inmates to be working, taxpaying and productive members of society.

“By building up their confidence, giving them self-esteem while they are doing community service and letting them learn real trades that they can convert to employment – it’s just a win-win all around.”

Perry said the sheriff’s office likes to release the numbers once a year.

“Not only to tout our own success with this, but to also remind other entities that we are out there doing the work and if we can help a non-profit or a town get something done that they can’t afford to do they should give us a call.”


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  1. This program IS NOT AVAILABLE TO WOMEN inmates. This needs to change!

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