Crews from Delta Correctional Center are able to help nonprofit and government agencies. Currently, they provide regular assistance to the BLM, Delta County fairgrounds, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Department of Transportation, City of Delta, and many more.
"DCC is a level 1, minimum security facility," says labor programs lieutenant Jami Ware. "The average length of stay is six months. All of these offenders will be returning to our communities. It is important to provide them with opportunities to make positive behavior changes."
In recent months, DCC crews have provided a much-needed service to the community through work completed at the public libraries in Delta County.
"The crews have played a significant role in managing the grounds at all five libraries as well as assisting with various book sales," explains Lea Hart, district director of Delta County Libraries.
Many library friends groups have worked closely with crew members to complete important work that would otherwise be very difficult to manage.
"I must say, I have been quite impressed with the quality of work done by DCC crews, as well as their politeness and courteousness," says Larry Beezley, a Paonia Library friend. "Not to mention the quantity of work accomplished."
Beezley goes on to explain that in 2017, Paonia Library had almost 15 cubic yards of wood-chips delivered, an amount that would have kept him busy for several weeks. "Three or four of the crew with two wheel barrows got all the chips spread in a couple of hours," Beezley reflects.
Jude Kieca is a member of the Cedaredge Library Foundation and is responsible for overseeing the grounds at Cedaredge Library. "Last fall was the first time we used a DCC crew and they were a delight to work with," Kieca says. "They raked leaves, trimmed the perennials, trimmed tree branches, dug up weeds from our children's garden, and left our grounds looking great! We received lots of compliments about how tidy the grounds stayed all winter."
Crawford and Hotchkiss Libraries have had similar experiences with book sales. "The crews are an absolute necessity," explains Deberah Imlah, a Crawford Library Friend. "Our active volunteers are getting to a point where they are physically unable to haul all the boxes," Imlah says of their January 2017 Cabin Fever Book Sale. "It is pretty much a given that without the help of the DCC crews, we could not have a sale."
Hotchkiss friend Sue Whittlesey agrees. "We could not do it without them. One of our volunteers said, 'We hope you are able to help with our next book sale.' The crew said they do not plan to be at the DOC in six months. We all had a good laugh!"
"This has been a valuable partnership and the offenders enjoy going to the libraries, meeting people and assisting within the community," states Lieutenant Ware.
Perhaps Imlah sums up the sentiment of the entire library district when she concludes, "Simply said, without the help of the crews, our major fundraisers and the landscaping would suffer tremendously. Many, many thanks to the DCC staff and crews for the service they provide!"
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.