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Work Release Center Inmates Making a Difference

Jail, where you go to face the consequences... but Parkersburg Correctional Center helps inmates make a difference in the community.

"In the beginning, just your usual operational challenges that you expect from opening a new facility," says Warden Anne Thomas. "(We're) very appreciative of the community support from Parkersburg and Wood County to assist us with job placement and things like that."

Inmates receive support and encouragement to gain the life skills they need to move past their crimes.

"In working with those organizations, The Humane Society, Salvation Army and even with Workforce West Virginia, who has been a huge asset to us in helping us keep inmates employed out in the community and assistance with job placement, even interview skills," Thomas says. "Most of the feedback has been very positive."

From the hotel on the hill to a new correctional center and how it's affected the community.

"During that time, the community expressed a great deal of concern over security and safety, and so there was a lot of discussion about that," says Dr. Wayne Dunn, president of the Wood County Commission. "But the Department of Corrections decided that was where they wanted it."

Inmates can pay child support costs while they're in, some of their restitution and court ordered fees, along with the community service hours they contribute.

"It gives them the opportunity, the inmates themselves to transition back, to actually be able to work into the communities," Thomas says. "While they are here, part of their income or percentage of their income goes back to Parkersburg Correctional Center to help defer some of the costs of their incarceration."

It's a tough fight, but teamwork means helping those who can't do it themselves.

"The state is helping them correct their problems, but it's also important that we as a community help them do this," Dunn says. "So we're going to gain more, all of us are going to gain more if we work together."


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