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Clean up added as criminal punishment

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
Franklin County Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey announced Thursday that Franklin County courts will begin mandating highway cleanup as a condition of all probations, community corrections and drug court cases, effectively immediately.
Dempsey said that a local resident brought the idea to him when the Chamber of Commerce had their cleanup last spring. After checking into the idea, Dempsey found that this would be an effective tool in these cases.
"By adding this as a condition of their probation, we hope to teach them responsibility and to give them a way to contribute to society in a positive way."
The defendants will be required to clean up one mile of roadway in the county and keep that mile clean as a condition of their probation, community corrections or drug court agreement.
"This program worked well in Virginia, and Lauderdale County is starting to implement the program there," Dempsey said.
He added that if the area is not kept clean, the defendant could be found in violation of terms of their probation, which could result in probation revocation.
"If you are on probation, or in community corrections, that's a privilege not a right," Dempsey said. "Community projects can be imposed on them as a condition of their probation."
Dempsey added he hopes this program will expand across the county onto highways and eventually county roads.
Clean up sites will be assigned to each defendant when probation, community corrections or drug court are ordered.
There will be one person for each site.
"We hope to work with them to get their sites close to where they live," Dempsey said. "Everything will be recorded to ensure that the roadway is cleaned up in a timely manner and kept that way."

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