Virginia prison inmates get ready for "green" jobs

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2011 3:53 PM
Virginia prison inmates get ready for "green" jobs

CHESAPEAKE, Va (Reuters) - Inmates at a Virginia prison will be equipped for "green" careers under an employment training program unveiled on Wednesday.

The Green HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) Vocational Program was developed at Indian Creek Correctional Center, a Chesapeake medium-security facility for males, by Johnson Controls, whose activities include optimizing energy and operational efficiencies of buildings.

The program includes a training facility with HVAC equipment and a curriculum led by experienced instructors, according to a statement from the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Offenders will be prepared for careers as HVAC mechanics, technicians and maintenance specialists.

"Research shows that there is a strong link between an offender's education level and the likelihood that he returns to prison," said the corrections department's director, Harold Clarke.

In 2010, Virginia released a four-year plan toward reducing recidivism among adult inmates. Among the 38 states that report re-imprisonment within three years of release, Virginia tied for the sixth lowest rate of 28.3 percent, the plan states.

(Reporting by Matthew Ward; Editing by Jerry Norton)