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Article updated: 7/1/2013 6:57 AM

Inmates to build 200th Habitat for Humanity house

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By Associated Press

TAYLORVILLE -- Inmates who take construction classes at Taylorville Correctional Center are poised to finish building their 200th home for Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday.

The program started 15 years ago as a partnership between the Illinois Department of Corrections, Luther Social Services of Illinois and Habitat for Humanity. Since then more than 350 inmates have helped build homes for needy central Illinois families. The house scheduled to be finished this week will go to a family from Sangamon County.

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Inmates in the program take construction trade classes at the prison as part of a vocation program with Lake Land Community College in Mattoon.

"These inmates learn the construction trade, the satisfaction of a hard day's work, the importance of self worth and giving back to others--all valuable lessons that will greatly help them successfully re-enter their communities," IDOC Director Tony Godinez said in a statement.

Habitat for Humanity and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois provide the materials for the homes. The materials are delivered to the prison. Inmates construct interior and exterior walls and erect them to make sure they fit. Then the walls are disassembled and loaded onto a trailer before they delivered to the Habitat for Humanity site. From there other volunteers reassemble and complete the homes.

The Illinois Department of Corrections plans an event Wednesday to mark the milestone. Taylorville is about 30 miles southeast of Springfield.

"It has been great to see these inmates take pride in their work and to be able to give back to the community in this way," Taylorville acting warden George Good said in a statement.

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