U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Inmates Dismantle a Prison - With Administration Approval

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
2 pages
This article describes how inmates were trained and employed in a project to deconstruct an unused and outdated Maryland prison built in 1878, saving the state millions of dollars and protecting the environment.
The state selected for the work crew only minimum-security inmates with at least an eighth-grade education who were physically fit. Professional engineering and consulting firms conducted the classroom training. The deconstruction project resulted in the recycling of 99 percent of the building structure removed from the site. A total of 4,000 tons of steel and 1,086 tons of concrete were recycled, with only 126 tons of waste taken to a landfill. All reusable fixtures and equipment were salvaged for use in other correctional facilities. The overall cost of the project was $5.5 million, about half of the contractor's estimate for a conventional demolition. A total of 150 inmates were trained in job skills they could use in the construction trade after their release, and records show that some did.

Date Published: April 1, 2018