Illustration of prisoner and family done in retro style.

Wake County Inmate Employment & Education Initiative

CAWD is working with the Wake County Commissioners and Wake County Detention Center on a permanent program to reduce inmate recidivism with employment and education services. The Wake County Inmate Employment & Education Initiative (WCIEEI) brings back services previously cut during the recession. While there are organizations that offer stand-alone assistance, the WCIEEI will be a coordinated effort of agencies, community organizations, and businesses that are committed to successful transition and reentry of ex-offenders.

The proposed plan has an intake process that includes a risk assessment, needs identification, basic education testing, and goal-setting. Once a case manager is assigned,  goals are further developed, a reentry plan is established, and classes are assigned. Classes will ideally be educational and affect behavioral change, such as substance abuse education, anger management, and domestic violence alongside GED prep, basic skills, and computer literacy. Once released, participants are linked to NCWorks Career Centers for training, work experience and jobs.  Wake County Human Services, housing, and other supportive services will also be available after release.

It costs millions each year to house inmates at Wake County’s detention center.  Successful employment is key to reducing recidivism and housing costs. CAWD’s proposed WCIEEI plan gives inmates a significant head start in areas that will help them reintegrate into the community. Getting the education and skills necessary to find jobs with wages that can support a family reduces the odds of their return to justice system.