Los Angeles Times

Want jail credit? Just clean up blood, vomit, etc.

Milwaukee County jail inmates can knock an hour off their sentence for each hour they spend on some dirty work - cleaning up blood, feces, saliva and other bodily fluids at the House of Correction and Criminal Justice Facility.

Sheriff David Clarke said it's a common-sense approach to clean-up chores no one is eager to take on.

"Look, somebody has to do it," Clarke said. "It's cost effective because the alternative is to pay a county worker to do the job. With pay and benefits, that comes to $30 an hour."

Those who volunteer get biohazard training and protective gear.

"This isn't heart surgery and it's not like we're asking them to handle nuclear waste," Clarke said. "It's janitorial work and they do have to be trained properly because of AIDS and hepatitis."

Records show two inmates have earned time off under the program.

A 33-year-old-West Allis man convicted of fraud on a taxicab driver, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property worked nearly 13 days off his sentence.

A 29-year-old Greenfield man convicted of fraudulently obtaining a prescription drug worked off almost 11 days.

The program has been approved by the county's judges and the state jail inspector.

The union for county workers has no objections.

"It's not a job we're going to fight to keep," said union president Kurt Zunker.

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