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How much do inmates get paid to do work for local municipalities?

According to Cumberland County Prison Warden Earl Reitz, the standard daily rate for an inmate to do work outside of work release is $2.50.

Reitz said this is the rate that is paid when municipalities request assistance or for work around the prison like laundry and food services.

If an inmate owes fines, fees or restitution, half of their daily rate is held by the prison to go toward those costs.

The work inmates do for local municipalities varies.

Recently, during a debate over whether it should purchase sandwiches or other meals for inmates who do work for them, Mount Holly Springs borough council noted that it uses prison labor for assistance with public works and water/sewer projects.

Borough council vice president Leroy Shildt said, during the debate, that inmates have been used to help with snow removal, and Borough Manager Tom Day, who is also the borough’s police chief, said inmates have also been used to clear rocks and boulders from a trench.

Reitz said all of the inmates who are part of this program have been sentenced and received authorizations from the court to work outside the prison.

He said this kind of work for the inmates can often be a precursor to receiving full work-release authorization.

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