GREENVILLE, Miss. — Free could be too high a price for one Mississippi city to keep using inmate labor.

Greenville city officials are trying to decide if they want to keep using state inmates to perform chores once a local community work center closes and inmates are transferred more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) away to Greenwood.

The Delta Democrat-Times reports that a financial consultant told city council members that it could cost $60,000 a year for city employees to ferry inmates back and forth to Greenwood daily.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections says Greenville and Washington County officials can keep using inmates to cut grass and pick up litter if the governments transport them.

Local officials fear, though, that transport could be time consuming and that inmates might not always be productive.


Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, http://www.ddtonline.com