Prison inmates helping harvest Washington apples

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Some prison inmates are now helping harvest Washington's apple crop, as growers take unusual steps to deal with a labor shortage.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/srJGuD) 105 inmates from the Olympic Corrections Center in Clallam County started picking apples Monday at a Grant County orchard, McDougall and Sons in Quincy.

The grower agreed to pay $22 an hour for each offender, but that also covers housing, transportation and guards. Offenders get the minimum wage with amounts deducted for child support and crime-victim compensation.

The prisoners are living in tents with mobile showers and kitchens.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com