Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is giving inmates one hour off their sentence for every hour they work cleaning up the blood, urine, feces, saliva, vomit, and other bodily fluids that dirties the jail, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Look, somebody has to do it,” Clarke said. “It’s cost-effective because the alternative is to pay a county worker to do the job. With pay and benefits, that comes to $30 an hour.” No inmate is forced to do the work, and those who do are given biohazard training and protective gear.
“It’s janitorial work, and they do have to be trained properly because of AIDS and hepatitis,” said Clarke. Kurt Zunker, president of the union that represents the county workers who would have to do the work if it were not for the program, said the union has no objections. Clarke said most of the mess is caused by inmates with mental problems. Two inmates have accrued time off; one man worked almost 13 days off his sentence; the other, almost 11.