Under the watchful gaze of a correctional officer, seven female inmates from Dawson State Jail recently helped pay their debt to society by clearing the morass from under a highway overpass in Dallas and throwing it into a trash bin, reports the city’s Morning News. The inmates are part of the Pick-Up and Remove Litter program that partners the city with Dawson. The program consists of low-risk inmates, screened by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, who clean alleys, vacant lots, underpasses, parks and streets primarily in south and central Dallas.
Since its inception in July, the group has picked up more than 300,000 pounds of garbage. It’s the only program of its type in the city, according to Dallas officials. PURL started in 2000 and consisted of 12 male inmates but was discontinued after the “Texas Seven” escaped from Huntsville State Penitentiary. Dallas revived the program with female inmates. Most of the team has spent the last year in Dawson for crimes such as forgery, probation violation and hot-check writing. Dawson is a low-risk jail housing more than 2,000 inmates including over 1,000 women.