‘It’s important that they give back’: EKY jail providing inmate work release program

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Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:07 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - It’s called the Kentucky River Regional Jail Work Release Program. Perry County Jailer Minor Allen said this program has been around the area for many years.

“What we do basically is we go out to different areas of our county providing a service really that it’s hard for others to do or they just won’t do it or whatever,” Allen said.

Those eligible for the program are level one inmates through the state and have completed the required training to work. Allen said they each work very hard.

“The guys that I got yeah some of them are working on their GED’s. Other things that they would have missed out on if they hadn’t wanted to better themselves,” he said.

Jail administrator Lonnie Brewer said the program also allows inmates to give back to the community.

“It’s important that they give back. It’s giving back to the community. It’s self-worth. It gives them the opportunity to get out of jail and to get out and to do something productive, and those job skills that they can work with,” said Brewer.

The groups are doing the jobs most people don’t want to do such as picking up more than 1,400 bags of trash since January, cutting the grass at cemeteries and helping in any area the Perry and Knott County Fiscal Court see a need.

“Really it is a beautiful area to live in. You know it’s a shame to see trash and polluted stuff like that,” said Allen. “That’s why I love doing this program is we’re benefiting our county, and our citizens.”

The jail staff say the inmates involved in the program are also receiving rewards for their work.

There are three working groups in the program. A group of men work in Knott County, and a second group of men work in Perry County along with one group of women.