Offenders who are in prison often have limited vocational skills that can help them find employment when they leave prison, which can mean that a crime can be committed that will land them back in prison. Many correctional institutions’ goal is to see that eligible prisoners are given the chance to find gainful employment and to ultimately reduce the rates of recidivism.
In collaboration with the Robert Janass School and the Idaho Department of Corrections, prisoners can learn vocational professional and technical education that can help them find good employment upon release. All of the courses are offered throughout Idaho and their correctional facilities, except for Idaho Maximum Security Institution.
The ultimate goal of correctional programming is to reduce recidivism. Providing opportunities for offenders to live a crime-free and drug-free lifestyle through programming accomplishes this goal and provides for safer communities.
The courses taught and offered for inmates at the Idaho Department of Corrections include:
- Workforce Readiness
- Advanced Software Applications
- Construction Education and Research
- Carpentry, Masonry, HVAC, Electrical Wiring, Plumbing
- Introduction to Culinary Arts
- Machine Shop Fundamentals
- Introduction to Welding
- Heavy Equipment Operator
- Office Occupations
Apprenticeship programs are also offered:
- Cabinetry and Furniture Construction
- Facilities Maintenance
- Heavy Equipment Operator
- Custodial Technichian
The Idaho Department of Corrections is involved in helping inmates in the reentry process from the beginning of their incarceration. Correctional Therapists assess each inmate and create a plan called a treatment pathway. The pathway shows each inmate where they will be housed during their sentence and what kind of programs they will be enrolled in. This treatment pathway helps inmates and the correctional specialists ensure that the right program has been designed. The treatment pathway program was adopted in 2009 and has shown that the prison population within the Idaho Department of Corrections has been reduced as well as reduced recidivism rates.
Other services offered through the Idaho Department of Corrections are programs and services that help with:
- Mental Health
- Substance Abuse
- Family Reunification
Correctional specialists believe that creating a good case plan for the individual prisoner helps to lead to a more successful reintegration into the community and society. The mission statement for the Idaho Department of Corrections is “to protect Idaho through safety, accountability, partnerships and opportunities for offender change.”