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The Daily Times - Online

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Somerset County Commissioners have agreed to give officials at Eastern Correctional Institution more leeway in seeking work-release projects for inmate crews, including landscaping and planting projects. Two weeks ago the commissioners ended a 23-year ban on the use of inmate work crews outside prison grounds in Somerset County. Princess Anne has already requested a work crew for landscaping at the town's police station. Inmate crews from Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit are used daily in and around Salisbury without problems. Using inmate labor for such tasks is a win-win for both inmates and the municipality -- especially when government budgets are lean -- investing the inmates in their community and saving taxpayer money as well.