Inmates in prison don’t get much freedom at all. In some prisons, the inmates are kept together in a room all day long, with nothing much to do. Some prisons allow yard time, where the inmates can go outdoors and get some exercise. If an inmate is lucky, they will be given a job within the prison. This allows them to make a little bit of money, and the days go by faster. As far as visits, phone calls, and leaving the prison, the inmates are observed, and the rules must be followed. There are two reasons why an inmate’s freedom is taken from them when they are incarcerated. First, taking their freedom is their punishment. Second, inmates cannot be trusted. If a person is willing to make the mistake of breaking the law, they won’t be trusted when they are behind bars. While many people believe that all inmates cannot be trusted, some will shock you.
Some prisons allow prisoners to work outside the jail on work crews. They often do manual labor outdoors, such as landscaping, hole digging, and other essential jobs that the state can get done for cheap if done by inmates. The prison in Polk County, Georgia, is one that gives the inmates work outside the prison. The inmates who are put on the work crews aren’t in maximum security, because that would be dangerous and irresponsible. The people they put on these crews are often in jail for non-violent crimes. The prison also chooses inmates who don’t have a history of causing problems.
Although there is a small level of trust for the inmates on a work crew, there is always an armed guard keeping a close eye on them. The crews are often small, with between five and six inmates working on a work crew at one time. This makes it possible for just one guard to be there to watch all of the prisoners on the crew. In 2017, something happened on with a work crew in Polk County. When this prison guard passed out while on duty, the inmates’ actions left the sheriff dumbstruck.
A Hot Summer Day
On a hot day in June 2017, six prisoners were on a work detail. It was their job to mow the grass at a cemetery. This day was particularly hot, and the humidity was at 100 percent. The inmates were hot and exhausted, but they were happy to be outside in the fresh air. Suddenly, the deputy in charge of guarding the inmates started to feel sick. He was looking unwell and was struggling to breathe. When he passed out, the six inmates crowded around him. He was unconscious and helpless.
Reasons To Be Concerned
The deputy was lying face-first on the grass, and his gun was unprotected. Not far from where they were, the van that transported the inmates was parked. The men could have easily escaped. Shortly after the guard passed out, one of the inmates leaned over him and went through his pockets. Most people would think that he was looking for the deputy’s keys so that he and his fellow inmates can drive off someplace to live a life of freedom. It wasn’t the keys that the inmate was looking for. He was actually looking for his cellphone. When the inmate found it, he dialed 911. They knew that he needed help right away, especially since they had no idea what caused him to pass out.
When the ambulance arrived on the scene, it was accompanied by a police car and a fire truck. When the police officer discovered that the men were inmates and their guard was the one down, they arranged for the inmates to be transported back to the prison.
The deputy in question didn’t want to be identified, but he explained to the local TV news what happened. He says that he was having coughing spells, and each time he got one, he got hotter. It was very hot that day, which made matters worse. After a few coughing attacks, the heat became too much, and he went down. When one of the inmates was asked about what happened, he said that it was never about who is in jail, and who isn’t. It was just about a man being down who needed help.
The guard made a full recovery. When his family heard about what the inmates had done for him, they brought each of the inmate lunch. Shortly after, Sheriff Moats, who was in charge of the prison, announced that the inmates on the work crew that day would have their sentences slashed by a quarter. For the men involved, this was incredible news. They could have easily taken off with the van, but chances are they would have been caught. They made the right choice, and they were significantly rewarded for it.