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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 11, 2013, 09:53 PM

Minnesota Department of Corrections are building energy-efficient homes

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- New and affordable housing is coming to Perham. But there's a catch. Minnesota State Prisoners are building the homes.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- New and affordable housing is coming to Perham. But there's a catch. Minnesota State Prisoners are building the homes.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections is teaming up with West Central Minnesota Community Action to build three energy-efficient homes.

Qualified inmates, coming from the Douglas County jail pour hard labor and newly learned carpentry skills into the projects at just a buck an hour.

Because of the affordable labor, the savings is then passed on to prospective buyers. Some homeowners reporting a monthly payment of under 600 dollars in some cases.

The department of corrections says these inmates provide quality work and aren't dangerous to society.

And have already been in the system for a year or two and are nearing parole.

John Eggert/WCMCA: "Having a felony on their record is a big black mark for gaining employment once they're out. The construction industry is a little more willing to give guys a second chance out there and they come out with some pretty good skills."

300 inmates have already passed through the program, which helps them track down jobs once they've completed their sentence.

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