Harrison County inmates chop wood for needy families in need of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern Indiana inmates chop wood for needy families in need of warmth

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CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Turning old storm damage into firewood is the kind of manual labor a lot of people shy away from, but a group of Harrison County men got outdoors and down to work at Hayswood Park for families in need.

Although no matter how well-intentioned they were, every move the volunteers made was being observed closely by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department, because the volunteers are also inmates.

"A lot of times, we think of our inmates sitting in a jail cell,"  said Harrison County Prosecutor, Otto Schalk. "We believe inmates are much more productive if we can have them out working, giving back to the community."

One of those inmates, Terry Van Fleet, was picked up just last week, charged with dealing meth.

Van Fleet understands the opportunity he and some of the guys he's locked up with are getting.

"When they give you a chance to better yourself, it's really really important," he said.

For Schalk and the Harrison County Sheriff Rod Seelye, the grueling job shows the striped jumpsuit doesn't always reflect the person wearing it. 

"We've got a lot of inmates who have issues, but a lot them have very caring hearts," Seelye said.

But more importantly, they said it teaches the inmates a lot about themselves.

"It just shows how productive they can be when they get clean and sober," Seelye said.

If you live in Harrison County and could use some of that fire wood call, 812-267-2226. The agency the county is working with will find a way to have it delivered to you.

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