This prison program is shear genius
People that go to prison once are very likely to return. That’s due in large part to the fact that many businesses just don’t want to hire those who have a prison record because they don’t think they can be trusted. But shunning former inmates from the workforce only leads to more people in jail when they are compelled to return to a life of crime to be able to support themselves through illegal activity or because they become so disillusioned about the odds stacked against them. However, some prisons out there are actually helping to reform their inmates by giving them the tools and skills they will need to get a job and make a new life for themselves.
Reforming Versus Punishing
Prison was once a place that bad guys would go to be taken out of society and pretty much forgotten. While some prisons have had some mental health and educational courses, overall, inmates don’t have much to do other than learn how to be a better criminal.
Prison-reform advocates have been fighting hard through the decades to get programs in place to educate inmates so that they’ll have some valuable job skills when they leave so they’re less likely to return.
Learning How to Cut
Some of the prisoners at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California have been given the opportunity to learn how to cut hair which is a job that people on the outside have to attend schools to do in order to receive a cosmetology license.
Trading Shanks for Shears
Not only are they learning the art of washing and clipping hair courtesy of cosmetology instructor Carmen Shehorn, they can also get a feel for performing manicures and pedicures and even creating interesting hair styles. Carmen said, “The program takes approximately two years, and they have to have 1600 hours completed in order to take the state board exam.” She was trepidatious of the inmates at first, but she grew to love her unique job.
People who have criminal records are far less likely to gain employment and are less likely to have valuable job skills due to a lack of work experience.