Commissioner Simmons announces litter removal program in Hinds County
Officials joined Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons in Jackson today to announce a partnership between the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and Hinds County Sheriff’s Department to utilize inmate labor remove litter from Hinds County highways.
“We are committed to cleaning up the Jackson-metro area and our interstates, which has a problem with trash. We can spend hundreds of thousands to contract out litter removal and within days trash will once again cover our right-of-ways here,” said Simmons. “This program will be a game changer and will put us in a situation where our highways will be beautiful. Through these collaborative efforts, we will keep Mississippi beautiful.”
The program went into effect immediately. Inmates began picking up litter this morning along the east frontage road of I-55 at Meadowbrook Rd. and extended northbound. During pickups, the Hinds County’s Sheriff’s Department will be present to provide safety and security for the inmates.
“To the citizens of Hinds County, this program is back. This is something I also get complaints about from the citizens of Hinds County regarding inmate labor. I’m happy to report that we found a way to effectively provide manpower and equipment to go along state highways in the City of Jackson and Hinds County to do trash pick up,” said Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones. “This is a major movement for us and for the people of Hinds County, so when people travel our county and city, they will see clean areas.”
Per the Memorandum of Understanding, the Mississippi Transportation Commission will furnish the locations, supplies, safety gear and advisory signs, and will reimburse the county for costs associated with the execution of the agreement, including reimbursement to the county for the actual cost of the sheriff personnel assigned to this duty.
“Today is a great day for Jackson. I would like to thank Commissioner Simmons and MDOT for providing the funding for this program, Sheriff Jones for providing the supervision and MDOC for providing the inmates,” said Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham. “This is my number one complaint from the citizens of Jackson. Today we are here to tell the citizens we care, and we have a process for which you are going to see individuals picking up litter.”
Although the program is great news to citizens of Hinds County, officials continue asking the public to refrain from littering and contributing to the state’s $3 million litter problem. “As Commissioner, I want to remind the citizens, although we’ll be picking up trash through this program, don’t go out and throw more trash out. Stop putting the trash on the highways. We don’t want you to use this excuse to throw trash on our highway system.”
Sheriff Jones also reminded the public that law enforcement will continue holding drivers accountable if caught littering. Put trash where it belongs and remember to recycle when possible. It’s not just a can or food wrapper you’re throwing away—it’s taxpayer dollars.
MDOT partners with local counties to use inmate labor to remove litter from the state’s right-of-ways. MDOT assists in securing transportation mileage reimbursement, an hourly supervisor reimbursement and a vehicle when available. For more information on MDOT’s Inmate Litter Program, visit GoMDOT.com/DontTrashMS.
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