Councilman wants to use inmates to clean up Philadelphia
May 17, 2012By Tom MacDonald
A Philadelphia City Councilman wants to put some inmates to work.
Councilman Jim Kenney says there are plenty of non-violent offenders in Philadelphia jails who could be put to use cleaning up and sprucing up the city.
"First of all it would have to be a voluntary situation, it wouldn't be talking chain-gangs here," said Kenney. "These are people would have to be vetted, they would allow the prisons to check their disciplinary record, examine and make an analysis as to their being out in the community."
Kenney says inmates would be paid from the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour and would not displace any current city workers.
"We're paying their health and welfare benefits now by having them incarcerated paying them $10 an hour to clear brush and pick up trash is not exorbitant and it shows them if they go out and work a decent day's work they get paid for it."
Kenney says the city could go to foundations for the money to offset the cost of the program.