Inmates Help with Storm Cleanup

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-The three tornadoes that hit Sioux Falls Tuesday night left quite a mess, so the city is using all the help they can get. Inmates from the South Dakota Penitentiary are pitching in at the debris drop off sites around town. According to Mayor Paul TenHaken, there are around 10 inmates helping out at each site. They’re directing traffic, unloading tree branches and keeping count of the trucks moving through the sites. Hundreds to thousands of cars are dropping off tree debris each day. The mayor says the inmates have been critical in keeping the traffic moving at a steady pace. 

“Everyone has really stepped up to help. So they are just another piece of the puzzle. Man, without these guys we’d just be that much further back in our progress, so I’m really proud of our partnership with the D.O.C,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. 

For the past year, the mayor has partnered with the South Dakota Department of Corrections to utilize labor within the Inmate Work Program. Besides assisting with natural disasters, inmates help with day-to-day work around town. Some jobs inmates help with include working at the landfill and helping out the street and parks departments. 

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