A grant is helping fund a program allowing inmates to work across Rogers County cleaning up dump sites.
This week, a group of low-level inmates picked up more than 200 tires and trailers full of trash.
Rogers County Deputies said most people look at an inmate and immediately think of the bad thing they did to get behind bars. These inmates are choosing to do something good while locked up.
The inmates said this gives them purpose and a way to give back.
"We're not all bad guys,” said Brodie Phillips who is an inmate in the Rogers County Jail. “What we did in our past. People change."
Phillips has spent the last 11 months in the Rogers County Jail. He spends four days a week working as part of the Rogers County Road Crew 2020, a nickname the inmates created.
"Yesterday we had 110 tires we hauled out of here. Refrigerators, stoves, tons and tons of clothes, metal,” said Phillips.
Phillips and some other inmates clean up dump sites across Rogers County. Deputies said these dump sites are a hazard to the community. These inmates take pride in cleaning them up.
"They are at a place now where they want to make that change and they enjoy this,” Deputy Quint Tucker with the Rogers County Sheriff's Office, who oversees the road crew. “Once this site is cleaned up, they will celebrate that. They will get a drink of water, sit back and take pride in that. It gives them something where they can say 'I did that.' I did that for my community."
The grant provided $80,000 for the program - for tools, gear and a full-time deputy to work with the inmates.
Sheriff Scott Walton said he hopes the county will help to keep this program going.
"These grants are designed to get programs like this going. The community wants to see it. They want to see inmates out working. These guys actually want to be here,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.
“There's a lot of guys that don't get this opportunity. It makes me feel good to give back to the community,” said Phillips.
Phillips said he already has a job offer with the non-profit Light of Hope after he gets out of jail. He wants to continue doing good work in the community.