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Employees, Community Mark 10 Years of Chillicothe Correctional Center
BY ANGIE TALKEN, CT 12 11 18

On December 7, community members, staff, retirees and officials within the Department of Corrections (DOC) gathered at Chillicothe Correctional Center to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the facility.

PHOTO: Chillicothe City Administrator Darin Chappell spoke to the crowd of nearly 100 people a the 10th anniversary celebration of the Chillicothe Correctional Center on December 7. CT PHOTO/ANGIE TALKEN

On October 24, 2006, ground was broken to start construction of the facility which sits on 140 acres just north of the Chillicothe city limits. On December 2, 2008, Department of Corrections staff moved 484 female offenders into the facility. Currently there are 1,595 offenders incarcerated; the facility has the ability to hold 1,728 offenders. State Representative Rusty Black said the facility currently employs 471DOC employees, and an overall total of 555 employees, many from Chillicothe. The facility brings in more than $14.6 million in salaries annually. "The impact this facility has, not only on the lives of those being rehabilitated," Black said. "But on the lives of each and every person in this community, simply based off of economic development and community partnerships is great."

Darin Chappell, Chillicothe City Administrator, said that many projects throughout town would not be possible if it weren't for the cooperation between DOC and the city. "I can tell you, we would not be able to do much of what we do now, without the support of programs that allow the city and this facility to work together," Chappell said. "The average person who lives and works in Chillicothe doesn't see the impact the offenders hard work has on our community. But, I can guarantee, we would not be able to do 1/10th of what we do now, without their work and the partnership we have established." Offenders within the prison do a variety of tasks in cooperation with city employees and other volunteers, including, hanging lights at Simpson Park for the holidays, landscaping, work with the street department and more. "The partnership that has been developed over the years is beneficial for everyone involved," Chappell said.

Chris McBee, warden of Chillicothe Correctional Center, introduced former warden and DOC DAI Division Director Alana Boyles. Boyles commended the hard work of the employees, who many times have taken measures to implement changes within the facility before other DOC facilities. "The staff at this facility has a heart for service," she said. "Each of you set a strong example for having a heart for service, working as a team and remaining dedicated to the work you do with offenders, stakeholders, other staff and the community as a whole. Boyles noted staff at the facility have been doing crisis intervention work long before other DOC facilities. "Work on crisis intervention skills, on every level was happening here long before we had Crisis Intervention Training throughout the department."

Black ended by thanking the staff for their hard work, and leadership in and out of the facility. "Without each of you all and the offenders who work with our community, there would be a hole and that hole would never be filled," he said.

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