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Agency explores using prison labor
By messengernews.net- Barbara Rodriguez
Published: 07/10/2018

DES MOINES (AP) — An Iowa agency wants to use inmates to eventually build at least 100 homes a year for low-income individuals around the state, an unusual idea within the expansive prison labor industry that has so far been stalled by a lack of support from lawmakers.

The Iowa Department of Corrections said the program, which was quietly considered but ultimately rejected during the last legislative session, would give inmates work training that could reduce their likelihood of returning to prison once they’re released. The agency believes it could also help alleviate Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers and its lack of affordable housing.

“There’s a lot of wins to this program,” said Cord Overton, a corrections spokesman.

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