Last week, it was Boy Scout Troop 88 led by Chet Jenkins that provided outdoor improvements to Justus-Tiawah School.

This week, it is the Rogers County Sheriff's Office inmate program assisting Claremont Elementary in providing indoor improvements.

Both of these programs come during a time budget issues are widespread throughout the state.

Nate Sappington with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office said he reached out to see how the inmates could help the school but needed to wait until the school was vacant to supervise any work.

Sappington said the inmates selected for the inmate program are those who failed to pay fines or court costs, where a warrant was issued in their name, or other non-violent charges yet to be decided in court.

The inmate crew began early Monday, slapping on a new coat of paint on the walls throughout Claremont.

Soon-to-retire Claremore School Superintendent Michael McClaren said the school always takes extra precaution not to bring inmate labor in the buildings while school is in session.

“With the school being vacant, we felt like this would give us the ability to get some much needed help due to funding issues,” McClaren said. “We probably would’t be at this point if not for the funding situation. This (inmate labor) allows us to get painting and maintenance done that is supervised by the Sheriff's (deputies) without students around.

“If we did not have this source, we would not be able to do this,” he added.

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