The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 13, 2013

Meeting to discuss inmate training center in Conneaut is on June 20

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — City Council in Conneaut will learn more about a proposed inmate job training center at a special meeting June 20 at City Hall.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. The session had been set for June 3, but was postponed at the request of Anthony Cantagallo of Ashtabula, who initiated the project.

According to State Rep. John Patterson, Cantagallo — a former Ashtabula city manager — is interested in erecting a large building on property he owns at Thompson and East Main (Route 20) roads that would house several “assembly-based” businesses. Eligible inmates at nearby Lake Erie Correctional Institution would learn employment skills at the center and possibly land a job there when their sentences were completed, according to Patterson.

The proposed project would also employ non-inmates, including managers and construction workers, Patterson has said.

Cantagallo broached the idea with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction last year, and an ODRC spokesman said last month the agency is intrigued by the concept, officials have said. The state has final say on training programs pertaining to its inmates, according to the Corrections Corporation of America, which owns and operates the Conneaut prison.

Expected to attend the special council meeting are Cantagallo, Patterson and officials from LaECI.