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Published: Friday, 7/20/2012

Inmates at 2 prisons can get CDL training


DEFIANCE -- Inmates at two Ohio prisons will be able to earn commercial driver's licenses while incarcerated under a new program announced this week by the Defiance-based RIDGE Project, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and P.I. & I. Motor Express Inc.

The collaborative program will enable inmates who take part in the RIDGE Project's Keeping FAITH (Family and Inmates Together in Harmony) program to leave prison with the skills and training to get jobs as truck drivers.

P.I. & I., a family-owned flatbed carrier, will provide the equipment and offer jobs to offenders as they are released. The CDL training will be paid for by the RIDGE Project through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Assistance.

The pilot program is to be launched at the Richland and Pickaway Correctional Institutions.

"We believe this type of cooperative effort will give these men the opportunity to reinvent themselves and break a cycle that has taken so much from them and their families," Joseph Kerola, P.I. & I. president, said in a news release.

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