Government Uses Trusties to Save Money

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

In Meridian, Bonita Lakes Park is a magnet for men, women, and children looking for a few pleasant hours outdoors. All of the trails, woods, and playgrounds are kept highly maintained to insure a high quality outdoor facility.

Keeping the 33,000 acre watershed clean isn't cheap, therefore the city allows 'trusties' or 'inmate workers' to work off fines or sentences on the trails. Seeing the men in jumpsuits can make some nervous; others appreciate the work.

"Just being a teenage girl, I'd feel uncomfortable if I was by myself. But they're just doing their job," said Lindsey Mercer who visits Bonita.

Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says the inmate workers save taxpayers money.

"They're still inmates, but they have met the qualifications to be a worker," said Calhoun, "which allows them to not be in a cell all the time and to be utilized by the government to do services that taxpayers would have to pay someone to do or they wouldn't get done."

So who are these men that are allowed to work on secluded trails?

"To reassure the public, the inmates that you do see at Bonita Lakes Park are non-violent offenders and non-felons and they are supervised," said Meridian Assistant Police Chief Jeff Lewis.

Without the use of inmate workers or trusties, Bonita Lakes would not be the only place to suffer. These men also work to keep many city buildings and streets clean as well.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Randy Location: lauderdale county on Jan 26, 2010 at 06:00 AM
    Do I get an F for a misspelled word.I will blame it on my spell check as I never make a mistake.Thanks for the lesson Laura
  • by Anonymous on Jan 24, 2010 at 12:11 PM
    yeah I see them at bonita but not with anyone areound supervisong them.
  • by Dana Location: Meridian on Jan 24, 2010 at 07:11 AM
    As a walker at Bonita I have only recently seen these trustys being supervised. I along with several others have been approached by these trustys asking the time. I have also witnessed cars pulling up to the trustys and dropping off sacks from various fast food places. Who knows what could be in these sacks. I understand they are saving money but they need to be supervised at all times.
  • by Laura Location: Meridian on Jan 23, 2010 at 04:23 PM
    Does the person that composed this news article have a clue as to how to spell "trustys"? In the manner in which it is used in this blog, it should be spelled "trusties", not trustys or trustees. Pay attention, people.
  • by Randy Location: lauderdale county on Jan 23, 2010 at 06:24 AM
    I think they should use trustee's for this kind of work...It is a good way for the criminals to work off their fine plus benefit the community.
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