The pre-release center in Hallowell that has been home to Maine inmates for over 30 years is closing. The inmates will be relocated to the minimum-security in Warren. This move will have an impact on many local nonprofits.

The bummer for the area is the pre-release center has been able to provide free labor to many non-profits and a handful of business that employ some of the inmates. According to the KJ, that totals about 22,000 of free labor in the area each year. That will be a loss.

The center now has 58 inmates and 21 staff positions. The pre-release center in Hallowell opened in 1979 and has prisoners who take part in public restitution work crews and a work-release program. It’s not a budget thing. The building, before becoming the pre-release center, was a school, so it was never designed to be a correctional facility in the first place, and was authorized to be sold in a previous budget initiative.