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Las Positas career program preps Dublin inmates for a new life

Inmates can earn customer service, small business management certificates

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Las Positas College is offering a path from prison to the professional world this spring for inmates at the Women's Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin.

Incarcerated women who take seven, nine-hour non-credit courses through the "Inmate Education Project" for a 16-week period will become eligible to receive career certificates in customer service and small business management later this year, according to LPC.

The pilot program came to fruition when LPC and FCI staff began exploring courses that could benefit inmates and faculty were interested in teaching.

"These courses complement and expand their existing educational program, since many of the inmates/students will leave FCI and work in the service industry," LPC vice president of academic services Kristina Whalen said in a statement. "Through our partnership they will also leave with important skills and a credential that will increase employability."

According to Whalen, nearly half of those released from federal prison are rearrested shortly after being freed but “the recidivism rate for those employed is significantly less.” Whalen said the partnership with FCI “furthers the objective of getting career opportunities to those already facing a serious hurdle to employment."

After touring FCI, business professor Drew Patterson agreed the program will give inmates “marketable skills and certifications that will help with their transitions back to civilian life,” and that “if given an opportunity, this segment of our society will be a productive part of the workforce."

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