Reducing Recidivism Through Vocational Training
By Jerry Hirsch, Customer Training Consulting Manager, Johnson Controls
At least 95 percent of state prisoners will be released back to their communities at some point, according to The Bureau of Justice Statistics. Because of this, recidivism is commonly seen across the board as a major challenge. So, what can be done to make sure they are prepared to reenter society and transform their lives for themselves and their families? For starters, correctional facilities can invest in vocational training programs that help provide inmates with the skills needed to find employment and a great career upon their release.
At the recent ACA Congress of Correction in Boston, MA, our team of state government experts had the opportunity to meet with many of you and have meaningful discussions about how these programs can be beneficial for state governments, inmates and local job markets.
During the conference, my colleague Jason Fritsche, PE, business development at Johnson Controls and I presented a workshop alongside John Easley, program consultant at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, where we discussed Johnson Controls Green HVACR Career Development program. Specifically, we shared how Johnson Controls partnered with the Louisiana Department of Corrections to provide our unique HVACR training program taught by experienced instructors in learning labs equipped with a variety of large commercial and residential HVACR equipment and controls. Our goal is to help inmates learn advanced HVACR skills so employers may be more interested in hiring them despite their felony convictions. By helping inmates acquire these HVACR career skills, correctional facilities can help prepare them for the workforce and ultimately reduce recidivism. Currently, less than 5 percent of our program graduates return to prison within (5) years of their release, compared to a 75 percent average recidivism rate across the U.S.
It was great to meet with many correctional leaders like you and share how Johnson Controls is helping correctional facilities meet their goals. For those who could not attend our ACA Congress of Correction presentation, learn more here or reach out to us at 888.885.9612 today to see how we can help.