Inmates help with sandbagging effort - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Inmates help with sandbagging effort

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DU QUOIN (WSIL) -- Inmates at the Du Quoin Impact Incarceration Program spent the day Wednesday filling sandbags to protect local communities from floodwaters. 

Superintendent Jason Henton explains the impact incarceration program is an option for non-violent inmates who meet a list of criteria. 

“Boot camp is a judge recommendation from the court where they recommend them to the 120 days of hard work and physical labor such as they do here. If they fit the criteria for the boot camp, which means they are a first or second time offender, non-violent in nature, and they have a one to eight year sentence, then the judge can make a recommendation for them to come here and do 120 days with us in this military type of highly regimented program. So they get the opportunity to go home in four months,” Henton said. 

Wednesday's crew of nearly 25 inmates has already moved more than 16,000 sandbags.

Robert Schleyhahn, an inmate with the program, says he is glad he has the opportunity to help. 

“Anything I think I can do to help, it makes me feel great inside. I made a lot of bad decisions, and it feels good to make some good ones,” Schleyhahn said.

Staff believe public service projects are important to the inmates. 

“During the course of their incarceration, like I say, moments like this are kind of the highlight of some of their programming because they know again that they’re helping the communities that need it so much in our surrounding areas,” Henton said. 

Inmates at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center and Shawnee Correctional Center have also been filling sandbags

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