Ohio’s First Lady participates in reading room ribbon cutting at pickaway correctional institution

(Columbus)-First Lady Hope Taft today participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a children’s reading room at the Pickaway Correctional Institution (PCI), in Orient. The reading room, located in the visiting area of the institution, allows inmates to interact and read with their children during visiting hours.

"The Governor and I are strong advocates of the powerful bond that is built when children and their parents read together," Mrs. Taft said. "I am pleased that this opportunity is now available to inmates and their families."

The PCI reading room is the first of its kind in Ohio’s prisons. PCI inmates and staff constructed the reading room. Employees have generously donated new or gently used books towards the reading room. Inmates will have the opportunity to utilize the visiting room during visitation hours.

"Children of prison inmates are at special risk of falling through society’s safety nets," said Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Reginald A. Wilkinson. "In creating this reading room, we are acknowledging the value of children and the importance of reading."

In addition to participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony, Mrs. Taft also had the opportunity to visit two drug treatment programs at PCI. The DUI Program, which is six weeks in length, involves the completion of an assessment, treatment planning and 36-hour pre-treatment program. The inmates attend evening meetings and are involved in various community service projects during the day.

The OASIS (Our Awareness of Self Increases Success) Program is a therapeutic community prison project that was formed to help drug abuse offenders. Inmates who have similar problems of drug and alcohol abuse live and work together to better their lives. The program is staffed by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.


For further information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.