This sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee has proposed that the county consider putting more prisoners to work cleaning local bayous and parks.
The plan would give working inmates three days’ credit per day served in jail instead of the two they receive now so they could earn earlier release, Lee said.
“I’m putting it up for discussion because there has been overcrowding and it is an issue that would bring Harris County in consistency with other parts of the state,” he said.
Part of the rationale for extra credit for work details is that it would free up space in the jail as nonviolent offenders get out more quickly.
This makes sense on a lot of levels. Cleaning parks and bayous is something we would all benefit from. Getting the kind of inmates who would qualify to participate in this out of jail faster helps alleviate the overcrowding problem and saves money. It also apparently helps with recidivism rates. Offhand, I can’t think of any objections to this. Kudos to Commissioner Lee for proposing it.