Gift from Pulaski County leadership education group sees funding go towards workforce training for inmates
A $12,000 gift from those involved with Somerset leadership program Leadership Lake Cumberland is going towards supporting a workforce re-entry initiative for inmates at the Pulaski County Detention Center.
The gift is part of a fundraising effort by members of Leadership Lake Cumberland’s Class of 2021 as a community service project of their choice.
Inmates who participate get technical and skills training, a welding certificate, a month off of their sentence and a job upon release.
Jeff Wesley is one of the members of Leadership Lake Cumberland’s Class of 2021 and principal of Somerset High School. He says the training will help the participants find work in a high-demand field for competitive pay.
“It could certainly give them some skills and certification that would help them to be able to not just reenter the workforce, but reenter the workforce as a skilled laborer and in a high demand area,” Wesley said.
The program is called the Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Inmates Transforming Individuals, Community and Livelihoods program; CRITICAL, for short. Wesley says he hopes CRITICAL becomes a model for other jails.
“This is one of those things where obviously jail and the adjudication system is meant to be a form of discipline,” Wesley said. “But if there's no effort to change behaviors, or create outlets for opportunities, then it's not going to be as effective as it can be.”
The program has seen 12 inmates graduate so far. The funding will allow another 12 to participate.