Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

                                               NEWS RELEASE                                                     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     December 2, 2002

Official Opening of Turtle Creek Center:

An Alternative to Prison

(Columbus) – Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Reginald A. Wilkinson was joined today by state and local officials for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Turtle Creek Center in Lebanon.  The Turtle Creek Center is a halfway house that will provide sentencing alternatives for adult felony offenders in southwestern Ohio.

This 72-bed facility, which will officially open on January 2, 2003, will employ 20 staff and share program services with the Community Corrections Center, a Community - Based Correctional Facility located next door.

DRC worked in partnership with Talbert House, a halfway house based in Cincinnati, in designing the concept of the Turtle Creek Center.  The Turtle Creek Center is one of three facilities that will be constructed or renovated to serve as a prison alternative in rural areas.  The Center will provide services for Butler, Champaign, Clermont, Darke, Fayette, Greene, Highland, Miami, Preble and Warren counties.

“The partnership between our agency and Talbert House will enable criminal justice professionals to exercise a sentencing or sanctioning option that had previously been unavailable for this area”, explained Director Wilkinson.  “This facility, and the two that will be built in the future, only solidifies the importance and benefit of community corrections in Ohio.”

Neil Tilow, President of Talbert House, which will be managing the facility, expressed his excitement about the Turtle Creek Center:  “Bringing this state of the art facility to an under served area of Ohio provides help and opportunities for our clients.  The partnership between DRC and Talbert House will enhance the quality of life for the offenders and their family members.”

For more information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.