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Sheriff assures city of continued inmate labor

handcuffsCORINTH — Alcorn County Sheriff Charles Rinehart is assuring local officials he will continue to provide inmate labor.

Rinehart met this past week with Corinth officials who are concerned about changes in numbers of inmates assigned to the city each day.

Rinehart said while in the past the county has averaged had 65 to 68 inmates available to work in the community, only 50 were available this past week.

Rinehart said the availability of inmate labor is a problem statewide due to changes in sentencing guidelines which were implemented to reduce the number of inmates the state would have to pay to house.

Rinehart hopes to see the numbers rebound.

In the meantime, he said the city and county governments will get priority in allocating the available workers.

“I know we’re going to hear from the city park, we’re going to hear from the SportsPlex, we’re going to hear from the animal shelter, but it is what it is,” said Rinehart. “The city and county will be the priority on the workers out there.”

He said he’ll try to provide at least 15 for the city.

Corinth Mayor Tommy Irwin said the laborers are desperately needed to help the city avoid hiring workers, which he does not believe would be well-received by citizens.

Street Commissioner Philip Verdung asked for additional staffing during his recent budget request to the city board, listing the various jobs inmates have supported in regular department operations and showing how that assistance has fallen during the past year.

Alcorn County’s work center, Rinehart said, can accommodate 70 inmates.


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