Allegheny County Council is considering a bill that would put non-violent prisoners to work outside the County Jail. Council Vice President Charles Martoni from District 8, a co-sponsor, says it’s a complex issue that could be constructive and positive both for the county and for the prisoners eligible to work, but care must be taken not to encroach on jobs that county employees should be doing and to use only those prisoners who would not be dangerous—people who are in jail for DUI offenses, for example.
He says Council should proceed slowly before voting on the measure. He would like to study other such programs around the country to see how they've been implemented and whether they've been successful.
Martoni says the community and the country need all citizens to be productive, and he believes there are some prisoners who could be.