Inmates who complete vocational training with Virginia Correctional Enterprises have a low recidivism rate, and nearly three-quarters are gainfully employed after release.
According to new research from the Virginia Department of Corrections, inmates who participate in VCE workforce development programs have a recidivism rate of 14.3%, well below the overall VADOC rate of 22.3. %, which is already the second lowest of any correctional agency in the nation.
Additionally, the same inmates report an employment rate of 71.1% after release from prison. Among employed people, the recidivism rate fell further, to just 12.2%.
“Virginia Correctional Enterprises provides professional training to our Virginia Department of Corrections inmate staff, and we’re getting results,” said Marie Vargo, VCE’s executive director. “Our workforce training programs equip these inmates with valuable, in-demand skills that allow them to get out and find well-paying jobs in industries across the state. At the same time, we provide high quality products and services to our customers throughout Virginia, creating a win-win situation for Commonwealth citizens.
“VCE excels in training our inmates in the technical and soft skills necessary for successful employment,” said Harold Clarke, Director of VADOC. “Through their programs, they have not only produced millions of pieces of personal protective equipment for Virginians since the pandemic began, but they have also provided lasting public safety by preparing our inmates to become prosperous citizens in their communities. .”
VCE is an autonomous division of VADOC and receives no public funding for its operation. Inmates in its programs apply voluntarily and must successfully complete an application and interview process. The division trains inmates in a wide variety of essential job skills, including CAD design, furniture making, print production, optics, welding, among others.
It also provides state and local government agencies, educational institutions, and other Virginia businesses with furniture, apparel, and uniforms, printing services, document conversion, and more, all produced in its facilities.
More information can be found at vadoc.Virginia.gov and www.govce.net.