Rapides Vocational Reentry Program expands to job readiness

From learning life skills to learning trade skills, the Rapides Vocational Reentry Program has expanded to a job readiness program.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 4:24 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - From learning life skills to learning trade skills, the Rapides Vocational Reentry Program has expanded to a job readiness program.

Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood, along with officials from the Louisiana Department of Corrections, announced the expansion at a press conference held at the Rapides Parish Detention Center 2 facility.

When the program started in 2014 it taught incarcerated offenders life skills needed to transition back into the community after being released. The expansion will now provide the option to get job skills by learning a trade.

“We’ll teach them how to weld, we’ll teach them plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, small engines and also restaurant management,” said Wood.

Expanding the program also aims at continuing to reduce the number of people who end up back in prison after being released.

“Every day that someone’s incarcerated they lose those success metrics, they lose their place to stay, they lose their job, their family gets estranged from them,” said Louisiana Department of Corrections Assistant Secretary, Rhett Covington. “So, if we want the person to return to the community and not commit crimes again we’ve got to at least help them get reconnected and have the ability to get a meaningful job paying a living wage so that they can support themselves and their families.”

Along with the program expansion, the Detention Center 2 facility now has a building equipped with everything needed to teach and learn these trades.

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