New Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office Pilot Program

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The Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office would like to announce a new pilot program that will provide inmate trustees to work at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection.

Sheriff Eric Orange has approved the project, which will provide trustees under the careful watch of a Deputy to help keep the animal pens, and other areas clean. Trustees selected for this project will be of minimum security risk with no convictions of abuse towards animals or crimes against persons.

These trustees will provide assistance several days a week. After a test period of several months, the program will be evaluated and a determination made of the feasibility of continuing it as is or making other changes such as increasing the number of days of assistance per week.

This program is in addition to the three other inmate programs in place. In agreement with the Roanoke County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism the Sheriff’s Office provides a four to five inmate work crew that will provide mowing and general maintenance work at many of the county park’s and athletic facilities.

There is a second work crew of three to four inmates that also provides the same work in the parks in addition to mowing the medians of many of the roads throughout the county.  The charge to the county is limited to the cost of the two deputies providing security of the inmate work crews.  The inmates provide free labor so there is a significant savings to the county.

Another program is in place that utilizes weekender inmates.  These inmates are sentenced to pull their time on weekends in order to maintain their employment throughout the week.  Except for inclement weather, each Saturday and Sunday a deputy will gather up some of the weekender inmates and head out to pick up trash at various locations throughout the county and Town of Vinton.

These programs provide inmates a chance to learn landscaping related skills while providing general labor for projects.  We hope that inmates develop work ethics and skills that may assist them in finding employment once they are released from confinement.

Sheriff Orange and members of the department are proud to be able to collaborate with other county departments to provide assistance in getting work done while providing a cost savings to Roanoke County.

-Submitted by Chad Beheler