Preparing Prisoners for an Evolving Workplace

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Prisons should aid the re-entry process by providing vocational education and training for prisoners, according to a new position paper released by the Northwestern University Program for Prison Reentry Strategies.

The paper analyzes how the justice system can prepare prisoners to enter a workforce that is increasingly technological and rapidly evolving.

“The curricula for prison-based vocational programs of the future will be developed in partnership with community colleges, businesses, industries and labor,” writes the paper's author, Malcolm Young.

Citing an Illinois-based program that provided community college courses that trained inmates to become certified workers in the “clean coal” industry.

The state's Department of Corrections then “committed to the unusual steps of screening its inmate population for individuals who were to be released within a specific time frame to communities in coal mining areas of the state.”

The paper suggests such “mutually beneficial” partnerships between corrections, businesses and inmates, will become more common in the future.

But Young notes that after prison, programs should also be made available to provide “intense and prolonged” training and education.

Read the full paper HERE.

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