newspartnership enables inmates to provide cleanup at petersburg public parks

Partnership enables inmates to provide cleanup at Petersburg public parks

Courtesy of VADOC.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Partnership for Petersburg program brings together more than 40 initiatives under eight pillars to make a difference in the lives of Petersburg residents.

As part of the program, Nottoway Correctional Center inmates cleared heavy vegetation at two public parks and cleaned out a vacant city office building. Debris and vegetation were cleared at Poplar Lawn Park and the football field and track at Albert Jones Park in late February.

In early March, the inmates assisted with removing old furniture and filing cabinets from the city’s former Social Services building. Collected waste filled four dumpster bins.

During cleanup, inmate crews were supervised by corrections officers. The project was made possible after Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier contacted Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold W. Clarke about having inmate work crews in Petersburg.

“This administration is focused on helping Petersburg become one of the best cities to live, work and raise a family,” Mosier said. “These public parks now have more room for recreation space, which we hope community members will use for their wellness and enjoyment.”

Clarke said the Virginia Department of Corrections “is in the business of helping people to be better. I’m hopeful the inmates who participated in this work will take pride in assisting the people of Petersburg. When they re-enter the public, they will know that they have played a part in making the community a little bit better, which will help them reconnect with society.”

Petersburg City Manager March Altman said the inmates spent hundreds of manhours on city maintenance tasks, “saving Petersburg thousands of dollars and giving Public works staff needed time to address other city issues. Petersburg thanks VADOC workers and looks forward to continuing this productive partnership.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.