A new crew of workers from a local prison is working out well for the city of Toccoa.
The city used to receive male prisoners from Whitworth Detention Center in Hart County, but the Georgia Department of Corrections recently switched Whitworth from a male facility to a female one.
According to the DOC, Whitworth will continue to offer female crews.
However in the meantime, the Lee Arrendale Correctional Facility in Alto contacted the city about using a female crew from there instead.
Toccoa Public Works Director Randy Smith said the city accepted the offer and started using the Arrendale Crew a few weeks ago.
Smith said the crew of about 10 to 12 workers performs the same work that the male crew has done for the city in the past.
“The primary duties are litter patrol and trimming of road rights-of-way that are used by pedestrians,” said Smith. “One of the inmates is assigned to City Hall for janitorial duties inside the building.”
According to Smith, the crew members are selected and screened by the Department of Corrections and only non-violent inmates are put on the crew.
He said that the female inmates are doing an excellent job so far for Toccoa.
“We have been getting several calls complimenting the ladies as far as the quality of work,” said Smith. “It is better. They leave a much better scene. They are picking up smaller pieces of litter that the men seemed to leave behind in the past. It is all positive and the ladies are excited to be doing it.”
Smith said that the cost to the city for the prison crew is $39,000 per year, which is no change from the cost to the city for the male crew it used to receive from Whitworth.
He said that using the crew saves the city significantly from what it would cost if the city had to hire employees to perform the same tasks.