Inmates of the Pulaski County Jail might not have so much free time in the near future, according to Sheriff Mike Gayer who approached the Commissioners with a plan to put the inmates to work. The inmates have been used quite a bit in previous years, but because of a recent concern with injuries that practice has almost come to a halt.
The current insurance policy covering the inmates only offers a $10,000 coverage cap per year, which is not enough coverage to put inmates to work with peace of mind. Ed Clark of the Recycling and Transfer Station recently called the Sheriff’s Office to ask for a few inmates to come and help him rectify a few IDEM issues, but was turned aside because of the insurance concern.
“As quick as we get the insurance, I have no problem with using them again. It’s not that I have any problem with using them, it’s that there needs to be liability,” said Commissioner Kenneth Boswell.
The inmates haven’t been completely out of work, however. They were recently tasked with cleaning leaves around the Justice Center. Also, during the Fall Festival, they were able to assist in setting up and tearing down the equipment after the Fall Festival Committee bought insurance for the inmates that covered them during the two days of work. This gave Gayer an idea.
“I said, why couldn’t we get an insurance policy for six people, not by name, just six bodies which would be inmates, with like a million dollar cap and get them out and work them?” asked Sheriff Mike Gayer.
If the cost is reasonable, it could even be paid for out of the commissary funds. As of now, there is only one independent insurance company that has been contacted to cover the inmates for work, but there are still some details that need to be completed before a decision can be made.
“I think that’s the best idea I’ve heard all year,” said Commissioner Mike Tiede, “Get those guys working.”