The Department of Corrections (DOC) continues to provide inmate manpower to assist other District government agencies in carrying out their mission-critical functions. For the past several years, DOC has partnered with the Department of Real Estate Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Public Works in the utilization of inmate work details. These details, which are comprised of sentenced misdemeanants who are housed in halfway houses (under contract) located throughout the District, are supervised by trained DOC Correctional Officers.
Those assigned to the work detail earn $7.50 per hour and are responsible for a number of tasks including snow removal, painting, demolition, grass and tree cutting, debris removal, street and alley cleaning, warehouse, shelter and building cleaning/organization. Normal work hours are from 6 am-2:30 pm, Monday through Friday, however, if and when emergencies arise, the teams are deployed at other times.
These work details are a very important component of the DOC restorative justice program that requires offenders to give back to the community in which they have committed offenses. The program is intended to prepare the inmates for reintegration into the community, while constructively contributing to the city’s overall health.
In July of 2010, in a formal ceremony at the District Building, the Council of the District of Columbia issued an official proclamation to the members of the Inmate Work Squads for their hard work and commitment to supporting critical government projects. It is estimated that the work done by the Inmate Work Squads saves the District government approximately $154,000 annually.