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Maryland inmates to work on historic gravestone restoration

WILLIAMSPORT — A select group of Maryland inmates are being trained by national experts to restore weathered and disturbed gravestones at a historic cemetery.

Officials announced the initiative Friday in Williamsport, saying it would provide the inmates an opportunity to learn stone masonry skills that pay $20 to $35 an hour in Maryland, the Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reported.

The work will take place at Riverview Cemetery, where over a dozen headstones were damaged last month in a case still under investigation. The plan outlined Friday also calls for inmates to clean all the gravestones and reset them, as many have become destabilized over the years, according to the newspaper.

Craig Rickets, 54, was one of the inmates from the Maryland Correctional Training Center south of Hagerstown who has been involved.

Of all the jobs he’s done through prison training programs, including landscaping, shipping and handling, and janitorial work, Rickets told the newspaper restoring gravestones was the most “productive.”

“It makes me feel like I have new life,” Rickets said.