Clallam County Sheriff’s Office                                Deputy Ella Mildon will lead the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office’s first all-female chain gang.                                Deputy Ella Mildon will lead the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office’s first all-female chain gang. (Clallam County Sheriff’s Office)

Clallam County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ella Mildon will lead the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office’s first all-female chain gang. Deputy Ella Mildon will lead the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office’s first all-female chain gang. (Clallam County Sheriff’s Office)

Clallam County adds female chain gang

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office has added a third chain gang.

This one has an all-female crew.

“The Sheriff’s Office has been working a long time to get a third chain gang” with the idea that perhaps the jail population would make it possible to have a crew of female inmates, Sheriff Bill Benedict said in a press release last week.

The sheriff’s office has been operating two chain-gang crews in the past 20 years. Both have been staffed with male inmates.

Deputy Ella Mildon will run the new crew, which will be dedicated to cleaning up litter and illegal dump sites on unincorporated public land in Clallam County. She will be the first female chain gang deputy.

A $208,000 grant from the state Department of Ecology will cover the wages of the corrections office’s deputy, new van, dump trailer and tools, the release said.

Being a part of the chain gang is strictly voluntary, Benedict noted in the release.

“A lot of the inmate population look forward to the opportunity to go outside and work as part of a … crew,” he said. “While working on chain gang, the inmates are able to earn up to a third off of their sentences.”

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