Aiken inmate labor

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AIKEN, S.C. (AP) – The city of Aiken is trying to figure out how it will replace 10 inmates who pick up trash and do landscaping after South Carolina officials decided to close a nearby prison.

The Aiken Standard reports ( ) that Public Services Director Tim Coakley told City Council members he thinks he will hire 20 temporary employees at $10 an hour to replace the prisoners. The city pays the inmates $15 a day.

The city is losing the prison labor after the state Corrections Department decided to close Lower Savannah Pre-Release Center and move its inmates and workers to Trenton Correctional Institution about 17 miles away.

Aiken County uses about 20 state inmates for cleaning and animal control, while North Augusta uses about 15 state prisoners, mostly in a recycling facility.

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