Inmates at JRCC fill sandbags for use hereSand and perspiration were both in great supply Tuesday as inmates at the James River Correctional Center filled sandbags for use along the James River in Jamestown.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Sand and perspiration were both in great supply Tuesday as inmates at the James River Correctional Center filled sandbags for use along the James River in Jamestown.
“This is one of the ways they can give back to the community,” said Don Redmann, JRCC warden. “One of the terms for it is restorative justice.”
Filling sandbags Tuesday were minimum security prisoners who had been transferred to the JRCC from the North Dakota State Farm in Bismarck because of flooding there. They worked on a sunny part of the parking lot in temperatures of about 95 degrees.
“Some of these guys sandbagged in Bismarck before they came here,” Redmann said. “Tomorrow (Wednesday) we start filling sandbags in the yard with prisoners from the regular population.”
The sandbags will be placed along the river to protect homes as releases from Jamestown and Pipestem dams increase after heavy summer rains. Releases from the two dams will increase from 2,100 cubic feet per second to 2,200 cfs when the sandbags are placed no later than Aug. 31. The sandbag dikes will protect the city to releases of up to 2,400 cfs.
The prisoners filling sandbags looked at the situation as an opportunity to help.
“It is warm out,” said Cody Lautt, one of the prisoners. “But I like helping out. I have family in Jamestown so it is important to me.”
Other inmates had personally been impacted by flooding.
“I lost everything in Minot,” said John Smith. “I’ve heard my family is living in a car now. This is God’s work and it is nice to be able to help.”
Redmann said he had set a quota of 4,000 sandbags per day. The city has asked the prison to produce 40,000 sandbags.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org