The Missouri National Guard plans to start training some of the state's prison inmates to help it during natural disasters and other emergencies.
Missouri Guard spokeswoman Maj. Tammy Spicer said Thursday that under the proposal, the prison inmates would become a more formalized part of the Guard's disaster response. She said it would give the Guard a larger and better trained pool of workers to respond to emergencies. The training would focus on skills such as filling and stacking sandbags and removing debris.
Prison inmates already have been used in the past to help local officials during floods and other emergencies. Over the past several years, prison inmates have worked with volunteers and others to shore up levees and fill sandbags along flooding rivers from near St. Louis to northwestern Missouri.'