New Correctional Treatment Facility Pilot Work Program to Begin in District 4
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gene Zmuda, and District 4 Councilwoman Yvonne Harper announced a new Correctional Treatment Facility pilot work program today.
The “Working Together to Heal” pilot program, which is a partnership between the city of Toledo, Mercy Health, Penta Career Center, the Lucas County Correctional Treatment Facility, and the Toledo Correctional Institution, will be launched in Council District 4.
The Lucas County Correctional Treatment Facility - which moved into the Toledo Correctional Institution in North Toledo to house about 200 nonviolent felony offenders - will allow male offenders to work in District 4 under supervision in exchange for earning credit toward unpaid fines and court costs.
“Part of this is doing community service hours,” Judge Zmuda said. “It includes assisting in the clean-up of alleys. It doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything. It actually helps the taxpayers save money because, instead of sitting in a cell, the inmates come into the community and help clean up the community.”
Judge Zmuda said the program offers inmates training for future employment.
“Returning citizens can begin to heal their relationships with the community while simultaneously working to beautify the neighborhoods of District 4,” he said.
Ms. Harper said the program would help the community near the prison.
“We want to provide a meaningful work experience as a training ground for returning citizens,” Ms. Harper said. “As many returning citizens struggle with issues like poverty, and cannot pay off court costs and fines, this allows us to provide a manageable way for people to pay back that financial obligation.”
A crew will work in District 4 three days a week. City crews will haul away debris and brush cleared from alleys.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz lauded the program and the partnership.
“This creates vocational skills for inmates while helping remove the burden of debt,” the mayor said. “They are simultaneously treated for substance abuse and helping the community. Cities need creative ways to allow more people access to treatment and offer ways for people struggling with addiction to find employment after serving time in a correctional treatment facility.”
Bud Hite, director of the inmate-treatment facility, said the offenders will use the Correctional Treatment Facility’s equipment.
Mercy Health, which helped design the program, will also provide equipment and assist in directing the offenders where they will work. Penta will help train offenders with vocational skills and job readiness.