Offenders build homes and second chances


NEWTON, Iowa (KCAU) – Just down the hill from the Newton Correctional Facility is ‘Homes for Iowa.’ Governor Kim Reynolds was present for the launch of the program in June 2019, and came to see some of the finished products on Wednesday.

The program has a goal of not only giving offenders a skill for work after they’re released, but also helping Iowa towns in need of new homes.

“It’s to build homes for the citizens of Iowa and communities to bring in some affordable housing. We’re also looking at the training aspect of it for incarcerated individuals,” said Chad Squires of the Newton Correctional Facility. “We pay a lot of attention to detail–we’re learning the right way how to do things.”

The offenders are paid a wage while working on the homes. The Newton Correctional Facility hopes one day to be able to have 90 offenders enrolled in this program building houses, which are needed in Iowa.

“All the cabinetry is provided by IPI industries,” Squires said. “The Fort Madison Prison–they’ve got a carpentry shop down there. The prisoners make the cabinets, countertop vanities.”

Governor Reynolds also got to see the first home to be completed. The home will be delivered to the town of Jefferson next week.

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