One of the first orders of business after taking office in 2008 for Sheriff Craig was the creation of an outside Inmate Work Unit. Throughout his campaign, Sheriff Craig spoke with numerous citizens throughout the community and found that this was something that the community wanted to see brought back.
After careful evaluation of the staff, Corporal Billy Lingerfelt was selected to lead this project and to supervise the inmates that were selected. Corporal Lingerfelt has been in Law Enforcement for almost 30 years. More importantly, Corporal Lingerfelt has a desire to make his community a better place to live. His concern for the people working in his unit is evident through their desire to take pride in what they do.
Service in Action
Since it’s begining in 2009, the Inmate Work Unit has performed over 11,000work hours. In this time, the Inmate Work Detail has been responsible for picking up 5,000 bags of trash and 235 tires from the streets of our community. They have also assisted the Pickens Co. Road Dept, Volunteer Fire Depts., Board of Education, and the Chamber of Commerce in a variety of other tasks and events. In addition, the Inmate Work Detail has saved the tax payers of Pickens County over $200,000 by providing the labor to construct the new Pickens County Animal Shelter.
At the end of 2009, the Pickens Sheriff’s Office was awarded the Elaine Thomason Award from Keep Pickens Beautiful for outstanding work in cleaning up our community in 2009.
Inmates are selected based on a variety of criteria.
- The Inmate Work Unit is a voluntary program that is offered to inmates who have a willingness to participate in. At no time are inmates required to participate.
- All Inmates must be sentenced, or currently serving on probation or parole, prior to participating in the Inmate Work Unit. Even though participation is voluntary, it is a form of labor that the inmates are participating.
- All Inmates have a current criminal history reviewed to evaluate their risk of escape and danger to the community. No violent criminals are allowed to participate in the Inmate Work Unit.
- All Inmates participating in the Inmate Work Unit must Undergo a medical evaluation from the PSO medical staff. Inmates must be in good health and receive clearance before being allowed on the Work Unit.
Work History / Skills
- Inmates with specific skills that can benefit the project needed by our community. Some of this skills may include carpentry, brick mason, painting, carpet installation, and much more. This criteria is not necessary but can determine the types of tasks that the unit may be able to complete.
- Inmates that have pending charges are not to be considered due to the requirement that all inmates participating in the Unit are sentenced to serve time in a county facility.
- Both Sheriff Craig and Corporal Lingerfelt work closely with the Pickens County Government, Pickens County Board of Education and Civic Organizations like the Chamber of Commerce to identify areas where the Inmate Work Unit is needed.The Inmate Work Unit is utilized for trash pickup on county and state roadways throughout Pickens County. They have also been used to help prepare for community festivals, various landscaping projects for public buildings, various construction projects and much more.