Career day held at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Career day held at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women

ADOC inmates at Tutwiler Prison attend a job fair Wednesday. ADOC inmates at Tutwiler Prison attend a job fair Wednesday.
WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Department of Corrections and Ingram State Technical College partnered Wednesday to host a Career Day for inmates at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.

Ingram State Technical College is a member of the Alabama Community College System and the only technical college in Alabama offering correctional education programs to incarcerated women. 

The job fair is part of an on-going effort to enhance educational offerings to women behind bars.

"The idea is to bring in additional students into our academics and skills training programs," says Hank Dasinger, President of Ingram State Technical College. "We want to provide as many opportunities as we can to as many students as we can."

Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, sees the program as a valuable tool to reduce the recidivism of inmates once their sentence is served.

"It's been proven, unarguably," Thomas says, "the best remedy for returning to prison is "education is knowledge", "education is power"," adding that some of the women at Tutwiler don't even have high school educations or GEDs.

Thomas says through the program, which currently offers four trades, "they can obtain [an education] and be more marketable when they are released."

The trades include learning how to manage an office, cosmetology and welding. Dasinger hopes to have the program at eight trades at some point in the future.

While the inmates won't be offered a job while they're incarcerated, Dasinger says the job fair will help make them competitive once they're free. Having job skills is important, but Dasinger says there is another layer to the program. "A lot of times, our students don't struggle with skills on the job so much as they do with managing their life." He's hoping to change that and "build a bridge from where they are to where they need to be upon release."

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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