Inmates who complete job training with Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE) have a staggeringly low recidivism rate and an amazing number are gainfully employed following their release.
According to new research by the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC), inmates who participate in VCE’s workforce development programs have a recidivism rate of just 14.3 percent, far beneath the overall VADOC rate of 22.3 percent, which is already the second-lowest of any corrections agency in the nation.
Additionally, the same inmates report an employment rate of 71.1 percent following their release from prison. Among those employed, the recidivism rate fell even further, to just 12.2 percent.
“Virginia Correctional Enterprises provides job skills training to our inmate staff of the Virginia Department of Corrections, and we are delivering results,” said Marie Vargo, chief executive officer of VCE. “Our workforce training programs give these inmates valuable, in-demand skills that enable them to go out and find well-paying jobs in industries throughout the state. At the same time, we provide high-quality products and services to our customers throughout Virginia, creating a win-win situation for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
“VCE excels at training our inmates in the hard and soft skills necessary for successful employment,” said Harold Clarke, director of VADOC. “Through their programs, they’ve not only produced millions of pieces of personal protective equipment for Virginians since the beginning of the pandemic, but they’ve delivered long-lasting public safety by preparing our inmates to become successful citizens in their communities.”
VCE is a self-supporting division of VADOC and receives no public funds for its operations. Inmates in its programs voluntarily apply and must successfully complete an application and interview process. The division trains inmates in a wide variety of vital professional skills, including CAD design, furniture manufacturing, print production, optical, welding, among others.
It also supplies state and local government agencies, educational institutions, and other businesses throughout Virginia with furniture, clothing and uniform items, printing services, document conversion, and more, all produced in its facilities.