Inmates save taxpayers thousands by operating County owned bakery

Baking program teaches inmates job skills

OTAY MESA, Calif. - A San Diego County program is training dozens of men on how to bake while also saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The county has completed its first year in the bakery business, with its inmates serving as the bakers.

In the East Mesa Reentry Facility in Otay Mesa, dozens of inmates bake 27,000 meals every day -- enough for every county jail and facility.  

The inmates also do the baking for catered events like the annual State of the County Address.

Inmates apply to work in the bakery and they work without pay. In turn, they receive job skills that can be applied on the outside once they are released.  

Taxpayers receive a break because those services are no longer contracted out.

"So once they leave here, they can actually go into a bakery," said baking instructor Maria Gonzales.

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