Career Tech Training and Services for Female Offenders
The Skills Centers School System of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education is committed to providing quality training to female offenders located at Mabel Bassett and Eddie Warrior Correctional Centers. To this end, career majors are offered in industries that will enable students to obtain gainful employment upon release from incarceration. Along with the occupational training, these programs provide life and employability skills development, Key Train remediation, and the ACT Work Keys assessment. The Work Keys assessment offers students an opportunity to earn an industry-recognized Career Readiness Certificate.
Career majors are open-entry/controlled-exit, which means offenders can be enrolled into training as students graduate. Program length is dependent upon student ability and competency attainment. Potential students are targeted for enrollment during their final year of incarceration. The general guideline for enrollment is a “preferred” score of 6.0 on the TABE test. Also, due to the competition for employment once released, potential students are “encouraged” to obtain a GED or high school diploma prior to enrollment.
The Skills Centers have worked to ensure graduates can enter productive work once released from prison. In recent years, the Skills Centers have maintained job placement rates in excess of 90 percent for program graduates. The majority of these placements were in jobs related to the training the students received. The average wage-at-entry continues to rise as business and industry partners become more familiar with the training provided to these students.
Current Career-Specific Offerings for Female Offenders
Transportation, Distribution, Logistics and Manufacturing Academy
Eddie Warrior Correctional Center
Using computer-based curricula, students progress through Basic Computer training, WASP Inventory control methods and Lean Manufacturing Concepts to prepare for employment in manufacturing. Students enrolled in the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics portion of the program will learn warehousing and material handling methods as well as all aspects of warehouse safety and maintenance. All students receive hands-on training in the use of tools, and precision-measuring devices are integrated into various modules. In addition, the student will gain certifications in Forklift Operation, and the OSHA 10 hour industry recognized safety program. The enrollment capacity for this program is 30 students and program length is 6-8 months.
This training began on October 27, 2008. This program began as a public/private partnership and was partially funded by a grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a private foundation in the Tulsa, Oklahoma community.
Distribution, and Logistics
Mabel Bassett Correctional Center
The Distribution and Logistics programs prepare female students for employment in warehouse or distribution environments by teaching them industry specific competencies. Students get a lab-based, hands-on experience with industry specific equipment, including computer applications emphasizing inventory and database management. The program capacity at MBCC is 24 students. The program length is 6-8 months.
This training began at Mabel Bassett on Aug. 12, 2005.
Realizing that re-entry is a formidable process for female offenders, the Skills Centers have assigned a transition coordinator specifically for our female students. This individual coordinates with other state, local and federal agencies and with faith-based and community-based organizations to ensure support services are established and students receive assistance in obtaining housing, clothing, transportation, medical care, childcare and employment. To aid students in their successful re-entry, the Skills Centers also employ a staff person to assist students with payment arrangements and/or deferrals relating to their individual fines and court costs, if needed.