Go In a Prisoner, Leave a Licensed Professional

Local News

The Michigan Department of Corrections and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs have teamed up to fight recidivism.

In 2016, MDOC opened its first Vocational Village. It’s a school where prisoners go five times a week to learn a skills-trade. The partnership with LARA will allow prisoners to get professional licensing while incarcerated, making it easier for them to find employment when they are released.

TyQues Banks is serving a three-year sentence for a drug charge. He is in the building trade program and says it changed his life.

“I don’t even want to sell drugs anymore since I been in here. I think carpentry is the way to go, and they make good money.” 

According to the Bureau of Justice, 68% of people who are released from jail get arrested within three years. Since the Vocational Village opened, only two percent of its people have returned to prison.

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