Jennings County Jail inmates Greg Disbro, from left, Eric Willey and Anthony Stillabower shovel soil plugs from the No. 18 green at St. Annes Golf Course Tuesday.—Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer
A work detail of 10 inmates from the Jennings County Jail labored for around six hours at St. Annes Golf Course in North Vernon Tuesday.
The inmates weren't shackled like prisoners on chain gangs as depicted in the classic movie "Cool Hand Luke,' but all worked under the watchful eyes of Sheriff Gary Driver and others on his staff.
It was the first day of an inmate work program Driver promised when he successfully ran for sheriff two years ago.
"We're just starting and this is a pilot program, but I see no reason why we can't make it a permanent program," Driver said. "I've been repeatedly told that we can't do a program like this because of insurance liability, but they do it in other counties."
Driver investigated, found that no extra liability issues would be involved and conferred with other county sheriff's departments.
The sheriff decided to start the program when he got a request from St. Annes superintendent Robin Brown for an inmate crew to assist with the aeration of the city-owned public golf course's 18 greens, a labor-intensive operation.
"This is a no-brainer for us," Driver said. "I'm trying to save the taxpayers money. We can do that by putting inmates to work at public properties."
The Jennings County School Board has been busy interviewing candidates who would like to be the next Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) superintendent. This week and next, potential superintendents who have requested it will be meeting with business leaders and touring the schools.
Larry Edwards, center, places one of the Muscatatuck Trail markers near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue. He is assisted by, from left, Mike Barger, Adam Dummins and Tom Hodges, all of MAC Construction. The $1.1-million trail project has an estimated completion date of Nov. 15, but many are already using the trail when construction does not interfere.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer