Berrien Sheriff starts work program for inmates - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Berrien Sheriff starts work program for inmates

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February 22, 2008

Nashville - Sheriff Anthony Heath says a lack of child support payments is a problem in Berrien County.  "It was a cycle where they were incarcerated but then in a couple of weeks they were released so there was really no punishment for them not paying," Heath says.

He's now initiated a plan that he hopes will change that and so far, it seems to be working.

He's teamed up with area businesses who are providing jobs to inmates incarcerated for not paying their child support.

"It's a Monday through Friday work week unless certain provisions are made. They still sleep here at night and weekends they stay here."

But it's the sheriff's department who receives their paycheck.  "Their check is made out to the Berrien County Sheriffs Office and we put it into an account for them and pay their child support," Heath says.

And anything extra goes to the upkeep of the jail.  "We are actually re-cooping enough money to operate our jail when it's finally breaking even and showing a small profit in the end of the month."

He says if that keeps up, it could be reflected in your bill with a tax cut.  Making it a win-win situation for not only the children in need but all residents in Berrien County.

He says the job could even turn into full time employment once the inmates are released.

If not they'll be back in and won't be released until the child support office is sure they'll pay their dues.

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