By Bill Sessa
OPEC Staff

A dozen inmates from California State Prison-Sacramento (CSP-SAC) are the most recent graduates of CDCR’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program that combines classroom and on-site training that can lead to construction jobs when the grads return to their communities.

The program is part of CDCR’s extensive effort to prepare inmates to become productive citizens and save California taxpayers money by reducing the recidivism rate.

The CSP-SAC graduates received certificates documenting their ability to read blueprints and master other basic skills needed to work on a construction site during a Feb. 4 ceremony.

“Understanding the complexities of commercial construction is difficult for most people,” noted Deborah Hysen, Director  of CDCR’s Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Division. “By participating in our intensive classroom training, you have learned things like green building design and basic construction management protocols and you have gained skills in an industry that needs workers like yourselves with this kind of knowledge.”

Dave Baughman, CSP-SAC’s Chief Deputy Warden, congratulated the graduates for voluntarily taking an important constructive step in their lives.

“One of the first steps toward rehabilitation and reducing recidivism is getting a job and, through your initiative, you have the practical skills you need to take that next step toward employment,” he said.

To be eligible for the program, inmates must be high school graduates or working to earn a GED. The pre-apprenticeship curriculum, developed with the State Building and Trades Council of California and local trade unions, requires 120 hours of classroom training in addition to 36 hours of practical instruction on-site at construction projects inside the prison.

The curriculum covers such topics as first aid, health and safety rules, construction management, the heritage of the American worker, and potential job opportunities in the trades.

CSP-SAC graduation

A program graduate shows off his certificate.