You may see a mattress as comfortable, but jailers see them as something that costs them thousands of dollars each year. One detention center's finding a way to cut those costs.
"It's a very expensive commodity for jails."
The rising cost of housing inmates is costing David Osborne valuable sleep and money.
"We purchase 200 mats a year and that costs us twenty thousand dollars," Osborne of the Daviess Co. Detention Center says. "We have 12,000 coming into this jail every year, each time they come in, they're issued that mattress. Every time someone leaves, they're disinfected. Those chemicals are hard on the materials."
So the inmates are making their own bed. Literally. They're sewing twenty mattresses a day. Osborne says making their own mats means making its budget better by thousands of dollars.
"That's $10,000 a year I can use to pay inmate food costs, utilities, inmate medical care, and apply it to other things here at the jail."
He adds it gives these inmates skills and lets guards sleep easier.
"It's a good opportunity for the inmates to learn a skill, learn how to sew, and it cuts down on their idle time," he says. "We don't have as many problems when it keeps them busy."
Osborne says they plan on donating some of the mattresses they make to area homeless shelters.