Some Ottawa county inmates spend the morning helping in the community. Tonight we get to look at what they are doing while getting the chance to work while behind bars.

Some Ottawa county inmates have been working on building a bridge in Wyandotte to solve flooding problems. 

Chad Masterson, Ottawa Co. Commissioner: “It gives them a sense of pride to know that they are involved with something and that somebody is giving them second chance to let them come outside and work.”

It’s through the county’s trustee program, allowing inmates with non-violent crimes to work jobs like mowing, painting, construction, and cleaning.

Jeremy Floyd, Ottawa Co. Sheriff: “They do a lot of little things that we would normally have to hire someone within the county to come and provide that kind of service, but it saves the taxpayers a lot of money in the long run.”

Inmates also volunteer themselves to work for an early release — saving the city money since it costs about 30-dollars a day to house an inmate.

Jeremy Floyd, Ottawa Co. Sheriff: “So it’s important to give these guys a sense a pride and work ethic and also save taxpayers money for something we can provide a service for.”

The bridge should be completed in 30 days, before moving on to building two other ones on the same road.

Chad Masterson, Commissioner: “They enjoy coming outside to work and we enjoy them working for us. We haven’t had a bit of trouble.”