Inmates Help Keep Up Historic Cemetery

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

It's a historic site, not far from downtown Carson City. And it contains some of the oldest graves in our area. But because the Empire Cemetery is so old and few people are buried there these days, it gets little attention. Until now. Inmate crews have been cleaning it up this week.

On a small hill, gravestones dating back more than 100 years, but just one day ago, you couldn't even see the tops of some of them. That's how high the brush was.

"It's a small cemetery that just doesn't receive the support nor the visitations that other cemeteries have," says Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.

That's why it had been about a decade since it was last tended to. But this week, this inmate crew has been out here clearing the brush.

"The Empire cemetery is a historic site for Carson City. It's something that we need to keep up," says Sheriff Furlong.

And these inmates volunteered to help keep it up as part of the inmate work crew program.

Here in Carson City, the program has only been around since March. But since then, supervised four-person teams have been able to do a lot around the city.

"They've worked with the street crews on painting the curbs. Graffiti abatement program here in town, they're just a rapid response catch-all crew that does an excellent job of trying to maintain a real quality of life here in the community," says Sheriff Furlong.

And the cost?

"This is costing the taxpayers nothing. This is a balanced program that makes sure that we don't interfere with the work force that the city currently has," says Sheriff Furlong. He's hoping to make the program permanent.

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