VADOC Inmates Work to Improve Parks, Office Space in Petersburg
March 17, 2023
PETERSBURG — Inmates at the Nottoway Correctional Center recently provided significant improvements for the City of Petersburg, by clearing heavy vegetation at two public parks and cleaning out a vacant city office building.
The work is part of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Partnership for Petersburg, a holistic partnership bringing more than 40 initiatives under eight separate pillars to make a significant difference in the lives and livelihoods of Petersburg residents.
On Monday, February 27, inmate crews cleared debris and vegetation at Poplar Lawn Park. After several hours of work, the cleanup crew had compiled so much material that a dump truck was required to haul the waste away.
On Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1, inmate crews cleared heavily overgrown vegetation on the football field and track at Albert Jones Park. The cleanup effort also increased visibility of the fence that surrounds the park.
On Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3, inmate crews worked inside the city’s former social services building, removing old furniture and filing cabinets. The collected waste filled four dumpster bins.
Crews were expected to finish clearing the building before moving to Legends Park to complete more maintenance work.
Inmate crews were supervised by corrections officers during each phase of work.
Efforts for this maintenance project started when Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Robert Mosier contacted Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold W. Clarke about potentially utilizing 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,” Secretary Mosier said. “These public parks now have more room for recreation space, which we hope community members will use for their wellness and enjoyment.”
“The Virginia Department of Corrections is in the business of helping people to be better,” said Director Clarke. “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.”
“The workers from the Virginia Department of Corrections have cleared debris from several city parks, cut overgrown vegetation, moved furniture from city buildings and picked up trash,” said Petersburg City Manager March Altman. “They have devoted hundreds of manhours to 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.”