Leaders celebrate new meat processing facility at NERCC

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A celebration at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center included meat processed right on-site.

After all, the event marks the completion of the new meat processing facility.

It’s been in the works for years, and was funded through bonding money requested over several sessions.

Leaders from Arrowhead Regional Corrections joined in, along with others from St. Louis County and more.

Former resident Tristan Snyder stopped by. He’s now an apprentice meat cutter at Super One. He learned the trade, here at NERCC. “It got me into this, and I’d like to become a journeyman, so I can take those skills wherever I want and use them.”

Kraig Johnstone, a current resident, told us it’s so new they haven’t even done a side of beef yet. “We’ve done numerous chickens. We just did turkeys for the first time yesterday.”

Johnstone has been here five months. “I learn new stuff every day. I’m confident I could go and get a meat cutting job someday.”

That’s the goal of the program. “Our men walk out of here, and we have a recidivism rate bordering on 90%. That means 90% of our men remain felony free after walking of here, three years after discharge. That’s something phenomenal to be proud of,” shared Wally Kostich, executive director of ARC.

Meat is processed for meals at the center. And they take orders from the public as well.

They plan on having a storefront where you can purchase meat, in the future.

NERCC is Minnesota’s only correctional work farm. They have beds for 144 men.