County prison will provide work detail to Cairo

Published 10:19 am Friday, June 28, 2013

The county prison plans to soon provide an inmate work crew to the city of Cairo, helping put inmates to work in community service and also bringing in some revenue to Decatur County.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, Decatur County Correctional Institute (DCCI) Warden Elijah McCoy told the board that the city of Cairo had recently asked him to provide a work crew of up to 12 inmates, to clean up the city’s parks and other public areas.

McCoy asked the board Tuesday to allow him to work with County Attorney Brown Moseley and the city of Cairo to draw up a contract for the work crew.

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The proposal would ask the city of Cairo to pay $46,263 a year for the work crew, or about $3,855 a month. McCoy said the county will provide the salary for the certified correction officer who will watch the work crew, but the city of Cairo will handle all other expenses — including vehicle and equipment, medical expenses that may be incurred by the work crew in the field, and also other emergency expenses.

McCoy explained that the agreement will make money for the county, because it only costs about $34,000 to pay the officer’s salary and benefits.

“The city of Cairo is ready for this work detail,” he said. “They’ve been asking me about it for about two months.”

McCoy said that the county has similar work crew agreements with the Decatur County Board of Education, Grady County and state Department of Transportation. He said the work crews not only help save the government entities money, and make money for the county, but they also get potentially dangerous inmates out of the DCCI to serve the greater good.

“There is a different behavior of inmate that we’re seeing today,” he said. “Just the other day, we had an assault that was associated with some gang activity. The amount of medical costs to inmates is going up, because of these assaults and other incidents.

“If we don’t get them out to work, to get them tired and keep them busy, these things will keep occurring.”

Commissioner Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely made the first motion to allow McCoy to pursue the agreement, and Commissioner Frank Loeffler seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.