The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) announced last week that it’s now putting up signs in work zones where the maintenance workers are minimum security inmates. The department uses the crews in the 12 counties where South Carolina Department of Corrections facilities are nearby.
The crews consist of non-violent offenders who are paid $15 a day for their work picking up litter, along with trimming the grass and bushes. Transportation Secretary H.B. Limehouse says the crews save the state more than $1 million per year.
We are always looking for ways to cut our costs. The inmate labor program is a tried-and-true program that has been effective for many years. We save money, the taxpayers in turn save money and the .inmates are given the chance to develop a good work ethic before they return to society
Their work also leaves SCDOT employees free to respond to other road issues. Officials say on any given day, up to 85 inmates could be working along the state’s highways.