After several calls and emails about prison garbage workers eating and searching through trash in Muscogee County, News Leader 9 launched an investigation.
Betty Davis has lived on Harbin Street in East Columbus for nearly 15 years and says she usually puts her trash out in bags. Davis hasn't noticed anyone eating or searching through her trash, but she says that doesn't mean they don't do it.
"I don't know what they do on up further now? So they might and they might not," Davis said.
According to residents, at least two calls were put into the City Services 311 about this issue in this area. We went to Prison Warden Dwight Hamrick to find out what type of things these prison details look for in your trash.
"They are looking for left over alcohol from a party, prescription medication, tobacco," Hamrick said.
They even look for your personal information like bank statements and credit card numbers. Hamrick says while they have gotten several reports in the past about inmates eating food out of the trash and looking for paperwork, the prisoners taking this stuff always hit a dead end.
"They don't have a computer in here so they can't hack anyone's account anyway," Hamrick said.
Hamrick says if caught eating trash or sifting through it, inmates could be taken off the trash detail and transferred to another area like landfill work.
Davis warns anyone who puts important documents in their trash.
"Don't put it out, just keep it or shred it or whatever you need to do," Davis said.
If you have witnessed anyone rummaging through you trash you are asked to call the Muscogee County Prison or the city at 3-1-1.
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