New Vocational Village program in Jackson expected to stop recidivism

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Governor Rick Snyder toured the newest Vocational Village at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson on Monday.

The new facility that opened on August 30 provides training for a variety of work trades to more than 200 prisoners.

The vocation program is helping hard time tick away easier according to prisoner Kyle Counts, who says there’s now promise when he gets out.

“There is no reason why anyone needs to resort back to crime, violence, or whatever they were getting themselves into because now we have the education and tools to get a job when you get home.”

Counts is one of a few hundred inmates who are learning up to ten different work trades, from carpentry to truck driving, to hopefully help inmates never return back behind bars.

Governor Rick Snyder says the goal is to provide prisoners a real chance to live a normal life once released, and believes the Vocation Village program will work wonders.

“To have a career opportunity that is good, well-paying, and established the day you leave is a fabulous head start and so I think you’ll see a dramatic difference in terms of how many of these folks come back.”

Prisoners with 18-months or less to serve and with zero misconduct reports are eligible, and as Counts put it, all involved are ready to become a part of society once again because this program paves a way for a positive future when let free.

“People come home from prison and can’t find jobs and since they can’t get a job they resort to their old life – and this program will put an end to that.”

When operating at full capacity, the Vocational Village at the Parnall Correctional Facility will help serve more than 350 prisoners.

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