Mono County

Mono County Sheriff's Office - Inmate Worker Program

To:       All Media Partners

From:  Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

Date:   January 23, 2014

RE:      Mono County Sheriff’s Office – Inmate Worker Program

Lately, you might have seen local inmates around various areas and communities of Mono County performing community service work. The increased community service the inmates of the Mono County Jail are performing is part of the implementation of the Inmate Worker Program.

In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109, a historic legislation that has, in so far, helped California “close the revolving door” of low-level inmates that cycle through the State prison system. This legislation has been California’s solution to reducing the number of inmates in State prison.

With the recent implementation of AB 109, the impact to the Mono County Jail has been significant. The low-level inmates once being sent to State prison are now staying housed and serving their sentence in local county jails. The challenge that the Mono County Jail faces, as a small jail that only houses 44 beds, is how to keep these long-term inmates motivated and engage them in constructive activities.

With funding from the AB109 realignment and the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), comprising of local agencies including the Mono County Sheriff’s Office; Mono County Probation; Mono County Superior Court; Mammoth Lakes Police Department; Mono County District Attorney’s Office; Mono County Public Defenders; Mono County Department of Social Services; Mono County Office of Education; Mono County Department of Behavioral Health; Mono County Board of Supervisors; and Wild Iris, the Mono County Jail has aggressively implemented an Inmate Worker Program.

This program allows our locally housed inmates, who have not been charged with a violent or sexual crime, to engage in providing community service throughout Mono County. This program includes work details such as: washing Mono County Sheriff’s Office patrol and jail vehicles; washing county-wide fire protection districts fire engines and equipment; weed removal at local fire stations, county parks, cemeteries, and along local sidewalks and roadways; litter and trash removal along county roadways; snow removal along local community sidewalks; painting projects of county-wide facilities and offices; preparation and cleanup for large localized  county-wide events; and snow removal around fire hydrants within the Town of Mammoth Lakes. Funding has allowed for the department to purchase a work trailer with tools and other necessary equipment for the inmates to perform these varied tasks.

The Inmate Worker Program has already shown positive results around Mono County and its communities. Citizens benefit from the hard work the inmates put in to keep their local communities clean. Local agencies benefit from the hard work the inmates put in that allow their staff to focus on other projects. This program also benefits the inmates by getting them outside and helping to build camaraderie amongst themselves which allows for a better living environment for the inmates and jail staff.

In addition to the Inmate Worker Program, the CCP group is actively working on additional programming opportunities for the locally housed inmates in the Mono County Jail. These additional programs are in the works to begin later this year.

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer