Training That Inmates Can Use in the Real World

Our Workforce Development programs focus on providing offenders with vocational training that will enable them to find employment during and after incarceration. Work release programs provide a community-based experience for offenders before
re-entering the community. These programs give local employers the chance to collaborate with the correctional facility, by creating a positive public/private partnership in the community, while educating employers on the aspects of offender employment.

The work-release program is coordinated with
pre-transition educational and vocational training.  The synchronization of these two programs allow offenders to develop a career path by providing them with marketable skills. Local and regional employers and training partners work together in the development of education and training programs. This partnership is vital to ensure offenders are prepared for work release and obtain the hard and soft skills needed to meet the regional labor market demands.

Hard skills are the industry or task specific skills needed to perform a certain duty such as welding. Hands on job performance is known as the hard skill.  Soft skills, on the other hand, are transferable skills that an offender needs to maintain employment in any setting. These are interpersonal skills needed to positively participate in the community, and differ from the skills required to be successful in a criminal environment.

The House of Raeford poultry business is a regional example of an existing partnership with LaSalle's
re-entry program. At this time, approximately 100 work release offenders from three different correctional centers work at the processing plant in Arcadia, LA. This plant is part of a regional industrial cluster built around the production of poultry products.

The local House of Raeford management team is a vital partner in the creation of industry specific workforce solutions that involve work release offenders, steadily increasing their use of work release offenders. Since utilizing the program they have also provided further opportunities for market penetration in the poultry industry by giving testimonials, making supply-chain introductions, consulting on program development, and assisting with logistical support.

The successful partnership with the House of Raeford, and the poultry industry as a whole has encouraged further development of industry-focused programming. This approach addresses several market challenges, but mainly assists in correcting offender recidivism.

According to the Re-entry Policy Council, the recidivism rates of offenders who participate in vocation and educational training are lower by as much as 20% to 60% than those who do not. These  participants create fewer problems during incarceration and earn higher wages after release. The regionally focused work release program also positively impacts local economic development by providing labor ready participants that are regularly drug tested, show up on time, well trained, and typically grateful to be employed.

LaSalle and the business industry strive to implement evidence-based programming to aid offenders in their transition into the community. The vocational and educational programs prepare offenders for work release program by providing them with skills that will be useful during and after incarceration.

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