Monday, January 27, 2014

New Programming, New Opportunities

Did you know the average New Mexico inmate has less than a high school education?  Many do not have a skill or trade. As part of our commitment to public safety, we work to return offenders back to our communities better than they came to us. We are expanding this commitment by expanding our offender programming. Here is a look at just some of the new programming:


*Offender Hobby Craft - offenders will now be allowed to make art, wood projects, or other goods to sale to the public. A portion of the proceeds will go to the offender's children (if they have any), victim's organizations, and back into other programs for inmates. This income can help take the burden of taxpayers to pay for inmate programming. (To learn more about this, please see our blog from January 23rd on the Old Main Revitalization.)


*Bakery at Springer -- NMCD is standing back up a full culinary kitchen at our Springer Facility. This program will teach cooking and baking skills to offenders and train them to get jobs as chefs when they leave prison.


*Cowboy Up! - This program is also at Springer and will pair former veterans with abused and abandoned horses seized by the livestock board. These horses will be nursed back to health by the offenders. At the same time the offenders will be receiving treatment and programming using the horses.


*Greenhouses - offenders at our Central New Mexico Correctional Facility will soon be growing fresh vegetables that will be used for food service at the prison. This program will also give inmates horticulture and agriculture skills. (They are going up! See pick below)


*Landscaping program - inmates are already xeriscaping prisons as part of a program to teach them landscaping skills. This program also helps facilities to save water and be better neighbors by removing grass and replacing it with stone.


*Sustainability in Prisons Project – turning trash into treasure! Okay, not really. But we are working to repurpose, reuse and rejuvenate items that once would have been tossed into the garbage. (More on this in an upcoming blog! Stay tuned!)


These are just some of the exciting new programs happening at NMCD!