Inmates Clean Up Lansing's River Trail
Image by Lansing CVB
It is all because of just one project organized by the Michigan Department of Corrections: preparing inmates for their releases back to their normal lives while giving back to their communities.
"It's a very regimented program where we teach discipline and we teach a work ethic," explained Department of Correction Spokesperson Russ Marlan. "It's a positive work ethic where you get out, take instructions, and work hard all day."
Seven inmates of Cooper Street Correctional Facility continue to work on this project. They are in their third week. It's the first job organized between this facility and Mayor Virg Bernero in years.
None of the prisoners have been convicted of major crimes, and all are scheduled to be released soon, including Brian Seavolt from Vermontville, who says they enjoy the work.
"It gets the inmates out; otherwise, you'd just be sitting on a bunk all day doing nothing. It makes us feel good and helps us with our recovery."
In just over a week he will be done doing his time for running a meth lab. He says he is ready for a new life, thanks to this program.
"I've learned some lessons over this passed year, and I'm positive, absolutely positive, that I'll go out there and be a productive citizen without having to be involved in what I was involved in before."
And regular joggers like Scott Teter will be grateful to their work for years to come: "Some of the stuff has been hanging over the trail, so it's been a nice improvement."