County Wants Prisoners to Primp Foreclosures

Officials are asking for permission to have inmates clean up abandoned properties.


You think living next to that abandoned house with waist-high grass is unsettling? Just wait until the prisoners start showing up...

From The Suncoast News, in Florida:

Pasco County officials will ask for permission to use county jail inmates to help clean and mow lots of foreclosed homes that have fallen into disrepair.

"We've got to get in front of this," Commissioner Michael Cox said today [August 12] in bringing up the issue. "Last I heard there were 6,000 homes in foreclosure" in Pasco, he said.

Such cases often require more than simply mowing tall grass, Cox said after talking with Richard Ortiz, Pasco's code enforcement manager.

Often, discarded appliances, swing sets and other junk might litter the lawn of the abandoned homes, Cox learned.

Plus, he said, pools at some foreclosed homes have been neglected. It can cost the county hundreds of dollars to hire a contractor to do the work.

Then the county must wait to get its money back from a lien placed on the home, Cox said.

He suggested asking inmates to volunteer for junk-yard work detail as a way to get out of jail cells for a day. The county perhaps could hire an off-duty corrections officer to supervise the inmates, Cox said.


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