New program has inmates keeping Pushmataha County clean

ANTLERS, Okla. (KXII) -- As part of the new look Pushmataha County, their county leaders are doing their part in changing the image of their county and their roads.

"So far it's been really good," Pushmataha County Commissioner Michael Brittingham said. "The public likes to see it. It's cleaning up the county. They see their tax dollars at work and it's good for the whole communities."

For the past couple of weeks, reserved deputies have been assigned two to four inmates to go around the county picking up trash from the sides of the roads.

They will rotate through their three districts every 30 days to keep the entire county trash free.

Sheriff BJ Hedgecock is a life long resident of the county and wants to help with how residents view his county.

"Well I was born and raised and lived here my whole life and I drive the county roads too and their full of trash and haven't been picked up," Pushmataha County Sheriff BJ Hedgecock said. "We have a beautiful county and I think we need to keep it pretty where people can come visit it and see something instead of a bunch of trash on the side of the county roads."

Inmates that help with the clean up are rewarded with their jail terms being reduced and a chance to step out of their prison cells.

Something the inmates have shown appreciation for.

"Inmates have been really good," Brittingham said. "They like it. They like getting out to pick up the trash. They rather do this than be confined in a cell and so these are really good. It works good for all of us."

Not only has the community supported the idea, but they've done their part in keeping the county beautiful.

"I believe the public they've given me a lot of support and they're happy with it," Sheriff Hedgecock said. "I've noticed the roads that we've picked up have not been littered back again so I think everyone is appreciating that we're cleaning them up and I think they're helping to keep from them littering them back up again."

County leaders hope that that with this program, it will move on from their past indiscretions and put their county in a positive light.

In their report on the program, as of last week, they have cleaned up 46 miles of county roads and have filled 104 bags of trash.