Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 24, 2013

Sheriff puts new work plan in place for female prisoners

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner said when he took office that there would be some new ideas implemented within the department.

Another of those “new ideas” made its debut this week — with the use of female prisoners for an outside work detail.

“We have male inmates that are trusties that go out and perform a service in the community,” Tanner explained. “But I venture to say that you’ve probably never seen a female work unit in Navarro County.”

Tanner put the first female work group out this week, working gathering pecans at the County Farm. Those pecans will be sold, Tanner said, and the proceeds from the sale returned to the county.

“We’re specifically using a female trusty group to assist in this harvest,” he said.

Tanner said that the females can provide services outside in the community as well as the males, and intends to explore more ways for them to serve.

“They’ve always been used inside the (jail),” he said. “I feel like it gives them the exact same opportunity to go out and give back to the community by doing a service for our citizens.”

He said future assignments for the female trusties would be made on a “case by case” basis and could include such duties as washing county vehicles or other similar tasks.

The reaction of female trusties to this first assignment has been positive, he said.

“It gives them an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and work, actually feel like they’re giving back ... it’s positive.”

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com