February 17, 1998

Governor Participates in Job Linkage
and Prisoner Community Service Ceremony

(Columbus) -- Governor George V. Voinovich and Reginald A. Wilkinson, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), today kicked off the 1998 prison inmate community service program. The 1998 theme "Restoring Justice Through Community Service" highlights the fact that inmates work on community service projects to "pay back" society. In one such project, inmates refurbish computers for schools. Columbus City Schools received 100 computers at today’s event. Community service projects also help inmates develop marketable job skills. The Governor recognized employers who participate in DRC’s Offender Job Linkage Program. Twelve Ohio businesses were awarded at today’s event.

"Our business and community leaders have been vital partners in preparing these prisoners by giving them an opportunity to develop meaningful job skills and become productive citizens again," stated Governor Voinovich. "Job fairs and the use of teleconferencing have enabled more businesses to participate in this venture. Whenever prisoners are able to ‘give back’ to the citizens of our state through community service and work crew activity we are pleased."
In 1991, Governor Voinovich challenged DRC to develop a community service program that would benefit the citizens of Ohio as well as inmates. Since 1991, prisoners have donated over five million community service hours. The 1997 theme "Time Well Spent" motivated inmates to complete 2,716,227 hours of community service. The YMCA in downtown Columbus, a long-standing community service partner, hosted the event.

Governor Voinovich and Director Wilkinson paid tribute to the "Education Program of Ohio" project started by the Department last year. This program receives old computers from businesses and state agencies and inmates refurbish them. The computers are then given to schools throughout the state for $89 per computer. Inmates participate in community service across the state by:

DRC’s Offender Job Linkage program was a direct result of the Governor’s annual Prayer Breakfast in 1996. Over fifty businesses have participated in 23 inmate job fairs at various prisons throughout Ohio. 280 prisoners have been hired by employers upon their release from prison. Today the Governor recognized: Abner Yoder, President of the Stark Truss Company, Inc., Canton, Ohio; Michael Brown, President of CadTemps, Westerville, Ohio; Richard Mosholder, President, Express Personnel Services, Columbus, Ohio; Manny Calta, Husky Industrial Services, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio; Vanessa Treadway, MPW Industrial Services, Inc., Hebron, Ohio; Keith Stevens, President, Team 2000, Columbus, Ohio; Michael Hostin, Recruitment Manager of Night Operations, AirNet Express, Columbus, Ohio; Tom Lewis, CEO, Digital Design, Columbus, Ohio; Ralph Bowden, Director of Human Resources, Extra Help Staffing Services, Dayton, Ohio; James A. Monsul, President, James A. Monsul & Associates, Westerville, Ohio; Jack R. Kuhn, President Office Division, ForestCity Management, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio; and Bea Bolton, Manager, McDonald’s Restaurant, Dayton, Ohio.

"DRC truly believes in prisoners paying restitution to Ohio communities. We are also firm believers in training prisoners so that they can leave prison with marketable skills," said Wilkinson. "It is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The community benefits from the service, the inmates learn valuable skills, and the prison system gains public trust," concluded Wilkinson.


For more information, please contact the DRC Public Information Office at 614-752-1150.