GTL’s mission includes investing in a better understanding of our impacts and identifying how our services have helped ease the transition for people returning to society. This means seeing and learning from reentry programs currently in place at facilities.
GTL team members recently completed tours of two Michigan Department of Corrections’ Vocational Villages, located at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility and Parnall Correctional Facility, to see their reentry programs in action. The Vocational Villages are a unique skilled trades training program that aims to provide a positive learning community for incarcerated individuals who are serious about completing career and technical education.
“Providing incarcerated individuals with skilled trades training is an important step in decreasing recidivism,” said Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. “The Vocational Villages allow those in prison to develop the skills needed for a career in these in-demand trades. Having not just a job, but a career, will improve their lives and allow them to provide for themselves and their family upon their release.”
Carpentry, tree trimming, plumbing, computer coding, and automotive technology are just a few of the programs that individuals can participate in, getting hands-on job training experience to prepare them for high-demand careers. When operating at full capacity, the two Vocational Village sites can teach over 400 students at a time.
Through a partnership with the local Carpenters Union, incarcerated individuals at Michigan DOC can learn carpentry through a modern, apprenticeship-ready curriculum. And after release, returning citizens are connected to union employers offering competitive wages with healthcare and retirement benefits.
Reentry begins the moment a justice-involved individual sets foot in a correctional facility and continues long after release. Visits like this to the Vocational Villages offer GTL insight on how positive learning environments influence reentry success and allow the company to align its efforts to increase successful outcomes and reduce the recidivism rate.
GTL is committed to promoting and supporting success for both incarcerated individuals and returning citizens and looks forward to more opportunities with Michigan DOC’s Vocational Villages. Visit their website for more information.