Sheriff Dumps Inmate Labor Use At Convenience Center

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

Cannon County Sheriff Darrell Young said Friday use of inmate labor full time at the Cannon County Convenience Center will be discontinued.

Sheriff Young said he will allow trustys who work with the Cannon County Maintenance Department and Cannon County Litter Control to assist in cleanup at the convenience center, but added the inmates will no longer have direct contact with the general public.

The sheriff recently pulled inmates from working at the convenience center because of lack of adequate supervision by county employees who work there.

"The public has wore my phone out thanking me for taking inmates out of there," Sheriff Young said.

"I know I can't please everyone, but I have to do what is best for the sheriff's department and the jail," Sheriff Young said. "Since we have stopped allowing them to go there, no more tobacco or drugs have been found in the jail, and that used to be an everyday occurrence."

Sheriff Young said the inmate work crews of Darrell Fisher (county maintenance) and Russell Paschal (litter control) will be permitted to perform cleanup work at the convenience center as desired or needed by Cannon County Executive Mike Gannon. Fisher and Paschal have had training in supervising trustys, the sheriff said.

"They will not be coming into direct contact with the public or handling garbage," Sheriff Young said.

Gannon said Friday that although there will be less people working at the convenience center now, it will continue to maintain its current schedule of operation.

"That's his (Sheriff Young's) decision and I will have to work within what he decides," Gannon said. "I do appreciate the sheriff continuing to allow us to use inmates for the maintenance and litter crews."

Gannon added that he will work with the employees of the convenience center to "keep receiving trash there as convenient as possible" for the general public.

Currently three county employees work at the center, which is open 60 hours per week.