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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Jail is getting a makeover, and it’s coming on the cheap. The sheriff is using inmate volunteers to save tax payers money.

For the past couple of weeks, about 20 inmates helped repaint jail cells. Sheriff Ed McMahon said the workers are doing a great job.

He also said the county should expect more original solutions from the his office to cut its budget.

“I challenged my staff just to be innovative, just to look outside of the box at ways that we could save money in the budget, and they came back with the idea that we had to have the jail painted, and it looks like we’ll be able to save about $100,000 by having the inmates do it,” McMahon said.

McMahon said he knew the new paint would make the jail look better, but he is surprised about the way the project has changed the attitudes of the inmates as well.

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