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Published: Monday, 11/19/2012

Inmate crews to collect litter along area roads


LIMA, Ohio — Select inmates from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima soon will start picking up litter along several routes in the northwest Ohio region.

Inmate crews will pick up litter along I-75 in Allen and Hancock counties, U.S. 23 in Hancock and Wyandot counties, U.S. 30 in Allen, Hancock, Putnam, Van Wert, and Wyandot counties, and State Rt. 15 in Hancock and Wyandot counties.

Participants will be “low-security-level offenders who meet the eligibility requirements to work outside of the prison,” a statement from the state Department of Transportation said.

Each inmate work crew will be supervised by corrections security staff. The transportation agency spends nearly $4 million and 206,221 man-hours annually to remove litter along Ohio’s highways; the new program is touted as a way to save money.

“Litter is a totally preventable problem that wastes tax payers’ dollars. This new program will allow ODOT to focus on its primary goal of maintaining Ohio’s transportation system,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said.

Debris in the roadway that may cause a hazard to drivers public will remain ODOT’s responsibility, as will removal of trash bags filled by the inmates as they perform the pickup .

The program between the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and ODOT began this year in the Mansfield area.

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