The sheriff’s office began using jail inmates to build a highly effective program at Animal Services that reduced costs and improved outcomes for both animals and inmates. After Highlands County Board of County Commissioners gave the sheriff’s office control of Animal Services in April, 2017, the sheriff’s office has implemented a program that has renovated the facility’s appearance, utilized free labor from inmates and helped inmates improve their ability to get a job after being released.
To make the facility more inviting to the public and encourage more adoptions, the sheriff’s office cleared trees for better visibility, painted the buildings, and removed the bars from the windows. Inmates also painted logos, built signs, planted landscaping, and in return, they have earned 10 days of gain time, or time off their sentences, each month for their work.
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