Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall congratulates Toni Griffin from the Marion-Walthall Regional correctional Facility for the award the Inmate Litter Program earned.
Photo by Mark Rogers
Marion County was recognized recently by Mississippi Department of Transportation officials for its inmate litter program.
“We took first place this year,” Sheriff Berkley Hall said. “We had second-place awards in 2008 and 2011. It was first place for all of District 7, which encompasses 13 counties.”
MDOT’s Inmate Litter Program is funded by a grant from the state.
“This year, inmates picked up more than 13,000 bags of trash along area state highways,” Hall said. “The top county in the state was Holmes County with around 15,000 bags.”
Toni Griffin from
the Marion-Walthall Correctional Facility oversees the local program for Hall. She supervises the all-female work crew.
“They work hard,” she said of the inmates. “They do a good job.”
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has participated for several years, according to Hall.
“We’ve been a part of this program a long time,” he said. “Sheriff Rip Stringer got us involved. I’ve kept it up. It also has the support of the Marion County Board of Supervisors. We pay her (Griffin’s) salary with the grant, the Sheriff’s Office provides fuel and the supervisors provide maintenance on the truck.”
The truck used to transport prisoners to the work sites and collect trash came from MDOT.
“It is a used truck from MDOT,” Hall said. “The state sells us the truck for $1. The Board of Supervisors helps us maintain the truck. They’re doing their part.”
Hall said he was not expecting the award.
“I was surprised because Forrest County and Sheriff Billy Magee always wins,” he said. “A lot of counties have the program, and some need to get it.”
Hall said State Transportation Director Tom King presented the award.
“It was great to hear Marion County called and be recognized,” Hall said. “If we didn’t have this program, our state highways would look terrible.”
Marion County’s MDOT District is headquartered in McComb. Hall accepted the ward for the program at the annual Mississippi Sheriff’s Association Conference in Biloxi last week. n