Inmate work crew lends a hand on Creekside Community Center project in Harrison, Ark.

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - The Arkansas Department of Corrections has partnered with the City of Harrison to allow 31 prisoners from Calico Rock State Prison to help complete a demolition project at the Creekside Community Center.

The prisoners are a part of an inmate work crew that frequently gets involved with community service projects around north central Arkansas.

Demolition is majorly done on the community center. Renovation will start soon on the newer portion of what was formerly the Harrison Jr. High. Engineers decided a portion of that building needs to be demolished before construction continues.

“One of the projects that we needed to do was removed 3,000 concrete blocks from a basement, and we couldn’t find anybody that wanted to do that,” explained Mayor Jerry Jackson, with the city of Harrison.

”Benny Magness with the Department of Corrections, I contacted him,” explained Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy. “We’d used the Department of Corrections work crew in the past at the fairgrounds and also clearing out Dry Jordan Creek. It’s not easy work, and when they do something, they do good work.”

The work crew consists of 31 prisoners, four guards and two horses. It operates like a well-oiled machine. They will finish the project in two work days, which the city estimates will save them at least $20,000.

”They’re doing things that a lot of people right now don’t want to do,” said Jackson. “So it’s good for them, good for us, good for the community.“

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