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New meat processing plant opens at state prison

As Ohio prisons faced what Department Director Reginald Wilkinson calls a "severe budget shortfall," administrators, several years ago, hit upon an idea to save millions of dollars annually. They decided to slaughter and process all meat served to the state's 44,000 inmates.

Today, the new Meat Processing Career Center is located adjacent to the Pickaway County Correctional Institution. Initially, all of the meat will be made into 4-ounce portions of hamburgers, hotdogs and sausage patties. No bones! Wilkinson says when the plant goes to full production as many as one-hundred inmates will work as meat cutters and production help.

Wilkinson says an inmate with marketable job skills is less likely to return to prison and he says that too benefits both taxpayers and former inmates.