Local program gives inmates a second chance
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Albany County inmates help to restore a holiday tradition through a program that allows them to get out in the community and give back. The Capital Holiday Lights display in Washington Park was vandalized last year, causing about $30,000 worth of damage.
According to organizers, vandals cut wires, spray painted graffiti messages on signs, and cut electrical cords. But, due to the help of the inmates, the Executive Director of the Albany Police Athletic League said they will save about $15,000 when rewiring the display this year. And, Sheriff Craig Apple said the benefits are being felt by the helpers themselves.
"It's about our inmates being able to get out, do something productive with their lives, and also go back with the feeling that, 'Hey, I accomplished something, maybe when I get out of here, I can get a job, I can do something'," said Apple.
The Sheriff said inmates have logged about 7,000 hours so far, assisting with both non-profits and government projects.