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Career Tech Training and Services for Female Offenders

The Skills Centers School System of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education is committed to providing quality training to female offenders located at Mabel Bassett and Eddie Warrior Correctional Centers. To this end, career majors are offered in industries that will enable students to obtain gainful employment upon release from incarceration. Along with the occupational training, these programs provide life and employability skills development, Key Train remediation, and the ACT Work Keys assessment. The Work Keys assessment gains the student an industry-recognized Career Readiness Certificate.

Career majors are open-entry/controlled-exit, which means offenders can be enrolled into training as students graduate. Program length is dependent upon student ability and competency attainment. Potential students are targeted for enrollment during their final year of incarceration. The general guideline for enrollment is a “preferred” score of 6.0 on the TABE test. Also, due to the competition for employment once released, potential students are “encouraged” to obtain a GED or high school diploma prior to enrollment.

The Skills Centers have worked to ensure graduates can enter productive work once released from prison. In recent years, the Skills Centers have maintained job placement rates in excess of 90 percent for program graduates. The majority of these placements were in jobs related to the training the students received. The average wage-at-entry continues to rise as business and industry partners become more familiar with the training provided to these students.

Current Career-specific Offerings for Female Offenders

Business and Information Technology
Eddie Warrior Correctional Center

This program is designed to prepare or “upgrade” female students for general office tasks including keyboarding. Students learn Microsoft Office applications, integrating projects using various applications, the use of electronic communications, professional etiquette, business management, customer service skills, and setting goals for personal growth. Program capacity is 15 students and program length is 6-8 months.

This training began on 1-03-2006.

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics/Manufacturing Academy
Eddie Warrior Correctional Center

Using computer-based curricula, students progress through Basic Computer training, WASP Inventory control methods and Lean Manufacturing Concepts to prepare for employment in manufacturing. Students enrolled in the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics portion of the program will learn warehousing and material handling methods as well as all aspects of warehouse safety and maintenance. All students receive hands-on training in the use of tools, and precision-measuring devices are integrated into various modules. In addition, the student will gain certifications in Forklift Operation, and the OSHA 10 hour industry recognized safety program. The enrollment capacity for this program is 30 students and program length is 6-8 months.

This training began on 10-27-2008. This program began as a public/private partnership and was partially funded by a grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a private foundation in the Tulsa, Oklahoma community.

Licensed Trades
Mabel Bassett Correctional Center

This program prepares female students for entry into occupations in both the residential and commercial electrical industry. Training focuses on installation and maintenance on all of the electrical and power systems for homes and businesses, as well as safe and proper tool usage and storage. Instruction also places an emphasis on academic knowledge and OSHA safety training. The enrollment capacity for this program is 12 students and program length is 8-10 months.

This training began on 8-15-2005. This program also trains inmates who work for the Facility Maintenance Unit at Mabel Bassett CC.

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
Mabel Bassett Correctional Center

The Transportation, Distribution and Logistics programs prepare female students for employment in warehouse or distribution environments by teaching them industry specific competencies. Students get a lab-based, hands-on experience with industry specific equipment, including computer applications emphasizing inventory and database management. The program capacity at MBCC is 12 students. The program length is 6-8 months.

This training began at Mabel Bassett on 8-12-2005.

Supportive Services

Realizing that re-entry is a formidable process for female offenders, the Skills Centers have assigned a transition coordinator specifically for our female students. This individual coordinates with other state, local and federal agencies and with faith-based and community-based organizations to ensure support services are established and students receive assistance in obtaining housing, clothing, transportation, medical care, childcare and employment. To aid students in their successful re-entry, the Skills Centers also employ a staff person to assist students with payment arrangements and/or deferrals relating to their individual fines and court costs, if needed.

Other Training for Female Offenders

In addition to our occupational training programs, it is our goal to eventually have the ability to provide every female offender the opportunity to go through our Computer Fundamentals course. This short course is currently offered to the female offenders at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. The purpose of this service is to provide every student with enough computer knowledge to use the computer for accessing social services and for job search, creating resumes, and performing entry-level job functions. Computer Fundamentals is instructor-driven through computer-based tutorials and application software. After completing this course, the student is able to identify the various parts of the computer and its peripherals, and demonstrate how to use them. They also have the ability to describe and use basic software applications (word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation). The capacity for this program is 12 students. The program length is approximately 2 months.

The Computer Fundamentals course was implemented at Mabel Bassett on 2-24-2004.

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