York County inmates help clean up flooding damage and debris

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HALLAM, YORK COUNTY, Pa. --  The flooding clean up continued in York County Tuesday afternoon, and people from all walks of life lent a helping hand, including some prisoners.

It's not every day you see a prisoner picking up debris leftover at Emig Park in Hallam.

"It was extremely bad, I mean, there was debris all over the place," described Federico McClean, a York County prisoner.

McClean says he doing it because he wants to make the most of his time at York County Prison.

"I look at it as an opportunity to learn, to be able to give back to the community, and when you give back, people will at least know you repaid whatever you did," he said.

He's 1 of 3 prisoners who helped out at the park, after last week's flash flooding.

They're able to do because they're nonviolent criminals and as part of a work release program.

"I'm just bored sitting around in there, listening to the noise all the time. This gives me a chance to get out and get fresh air, and workout and do things," said John Collington, an inmate.

They installed red fencing to keep park visitors from getting hurt.

"The mud, the uneven ground, there's no safety stuff there to protect them if the kids fall," said Phil Smith, the roadway superintendent for Hallam Borough.

It's not the first time this summer it's flooded at the park.

"We actually got it back up in a couple days in the past, this is the worst it's been," explained Smith.

It probably won't be the last, and that's why officials are looking to install a water tight surface on the playground.

A fix like that could cost $50,000.

Until then, it's the help of men like like McClean that will make a difference.

"I feel great. I'm glad God has blessed us and for us to bless others," said McClean.

Maybe this work will make a difference in their lives.

"I'm too old now, and it's time for me to turn my life around, and get myself together, and this really gave me an eye opener," added Collington.

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