TOWANDA - The supervisors of Ridgebury Township, which was the first location to benefit from the recently established county program that provides Bradford County jail inmates to do community service projects, are praising the program.

Under the program, which is called the Community Workforce Inmate Program, non-violent inmates, who are supervised by a corrections officer, do community service projects in Bradford County communities for community groups, charitable organizations and local governments.

"The three (inmates) were pleasant to work with, displayed a very positive attitude, showed pride in their work, and did an excellent job," the three Ridgebury Township supervisors wrote in a May 25 letter to Bradford County Correctional Facility Warden Donald Stewart and the Bradford County commissioners, which described how the first project went. "(As a result of this project) the Ridgebury Township Maintenance Garage received a complete and much needed paint job inside and out. The Community Workforce Inmate Program allowed Ridgebury Township to get a job done without the cost of manpower and without taking away from the normal work activities of the township road crew. This served as an incredible benefit in savings of time and expenses.

"Ridgebury Township looks forward to the opportunity of working with this program again and recommends this (program) to anyone in need of services," the Ridgebury Township supervisors wrote.

The Bradford County Prison Board voted in November 2009 to establish the Community Workforce Inmate Program, and the Ridgebury Township project began in late April, 2010.

At their meeting on Thursday, the Bradford County Prison Board approved three more applications for services from for the Community Workforce Inmate Program, including another one from Ridgebury Township.

While the first project involved painting the township's municipal garage, the new application involves painting at the Ridgebury Township's municipal building, Stewart said.

The second application approved on Thursday will provide a team of up to five inmates for five days to do work for Wyalusing Borough, including, among other things, sanding and painting picnic tables in the borough park, painting a pavilion in the park, and cleaning out storm sewer grates in the streets, Stewart said.

The third application that was approved on Thursday was for a crew of inmates to do work at Cole Cemetery, including maintenance work at the site.

The inmate labor is provided free of charge.

However, the length of the projects is limited.

"Usually, we try to keep (the projects) to a maximum of one to two weeks," said Peter Quattrini Jr., deputy warden of the Bradford County Correctional Facility.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or e-mail: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.