Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Division of Corrections
Members of the Illinois Division of Corrections and a analysis group from New York College toured Washington Division of Corrections services to see how schooling and Correctional Industries applications function within the state. (Picture courtesy of DOC Workers)
The success of the Washington State Division of Corrections’ (DOC) Correctional Industries (CI) and corrections schooling has drawn the eye of researchers and the Illinois Division of Corrections (IDOC).
The contingent of six members of the Illinois DOC and three researchers from New York College (NYU) visited 4 Washington prisons to see how Correctional Industries and schooling operates. The tour confirmed off the furnishings manufacturing plant at Stafford Creek Correctional Facility, the textile work achieved at Washington Corrections Middle for Ladies, and way more.
NYU was awarded a $4 million grant from the U.S. Division of Labor to analysis how vocational and education schemes will be improved within the Illinois DOC. The purpose of the go to to Washington was to seek out out what’s being achieved right here and conduct different analysis to enhance vocational programming in Illinois.
“We wished to see what Washington DOC does and what will be applied in Illinois,” stated NYU Analysis Scholar Janelle Prueter.
DOC presents a wide range of vocational and academic applications to incarcerated individuals. At Stafford Creek, the visiting group was very concerned with studying about applications that assist individuals earn a highschool diploma, GED or affiliate’s diploma from Grays Harbor School in both human companies or enterprise administration. Dwayne Owens, the vocational coordinator for Illinois DOC, was so within the jail’s schooling choices that he stayed again to be taught extra from Dean of Training Jamie Peterson whereas the touring group visited different applications.
Stafford Creek additionally has a giant recycling facility, a number of applications to show trades and charitable endeavors like coaching service canines, constructing wheelchairs and restoring bicycles to be donated to these in want. However the primary attraction of the tour at SCCC was the Correctional Industries furnishings manufacturing facility.
The 100,000-square-foot facility options 80,000 sq. toes of producing area and 20,000 sq. toes for the laundry facility and enterprise workplace. Pre-COVID, the manufacturing facility employed as much as 200 incarcerated individuals, however has been working at about 75 employees because of the pandemic.
James Aliff, the final supervisor of the furnishings manufacturing facility, labored within the non-public sector for 17 years and known as the CI facility at Stafford Creek high charge.
“That is proper up there with the highest services within the state when it comes to know-how and manufacturing,” he stated.
The touring group additionally discovered about a wide range of applications after they visited WCCW. Like SCCC, the jail options canine applications that embrace service canine coaching, grooming and boarding by the nonprofit Jail Pet Partnership.
“It’s an exquisite alternative for the ladies to place their abilities to make use of,” Program Supervisor Peggy Quinlivan stated.
The textile operation does embroidery and display screen printing for state businesses in addition to different stitching and associated abilities, together with graphics, clerking and software program coaching.
“The ladies are cross educated to get most expertise with completely different facets of textiles,” Pandora Neiland, this system supervisor stated. “It’s greater than fundamental stitching and embroidery. It’s a very nice expertise.”
Ladies apply for this system and interview for positions and shortly be taught to work as a group.
“A few of the people didn’t begin with any abilities in any respect,” Program Supervisor Glenn Davis stated. “After they get entangled, they take possession and need to work collectively. “We’re educating them abilities to get a job and supply cognitive teaching to assist them preserve the job.”
The braille translation program additionally drew a substantial amount of consideration throughout the tour. The work entails translating menus, graphics, charts, maps and way more. Employees can earn certification in 15 ranges of braille translation, and about 20% of the ladies who undergo this system find yourself working within the discipline after launch.
Trades-Associated Apprenticeship Teaching (TRAC) has been one of many extra profitable vocational applications at WCCW. The curriculum focuses on making ready ladies to work in building fields and companions with 4 labor unions to assist graduates get work. This system has had 250 graduates by the 62 cohorts and has an offshoot that trains members in aerospace manufacturing.
Reentry Division Assistant Secretary Danielle Armbruster accompanied the group for a number of the stops on the tour and was excited to realize information about how the Illinois DOC works.
“I feel there’s all the time small issues we are able to be taught, best-practices sensible,” she stated. “The legislature helps us, the group helps us, we’re fortunate to have the sources and volunteers. Lots of different states’ division of corrections don’t have a whole lot of the sources we do.”