Bringing communities and workers together
Communities and towns can request a Sentencing to Service crew to help with tasks including invasive species removal, park maintenance and storm damage cleanup. The program trains participating offenders, arranges crew transportation and provides proper tools and equipment to complete the project.
According to Ekholm, both the workers and the communities they serve see a positive difference from the program.
“The beauty is, the impact is immediate” for jobs like mowing lawns and maintaining parks, he said. “And the community can see that as well.”
Crew workers often change their attitudes over the course of the workday after they see the tangible results of their work, Ekholm said.
“You start the day with a fairly resistant group of clients — they’re anxious, apprehensive,” he said. We get “that crew from that spot of resistance to people self-reporting that they got a lot out of that.”