Transforming Lives

Prison to Work Project for the Maryland Department of Education

What is Prison-to-Work?

“Prison to Work” links workforce development and career preparation services within Maryland’s Correctional Education Program.  This initiative is supported by a three year United States Department of Education grant.  Services were initiated during 1998 at the Maryland Correctional Training Center in Western Maryland and the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Central Maryland.


Why is Prison-To-Work Needed?

Inmate students need to be able to:

  • use appropriate job seeking and keeping strategies
  • apply what they have learned in classrooms to the world of work
  • use career planning resources
  • practice effective decision making techniques

The Prison-to-Work project will address those needs by providing assistance with employment related skills.

How does Prison-To-Work fit in with Maryland’s Education and Workforce Development Goals?

Our vision in Maryland states that: “All Students who graduate from Maryland public schools will have the knowledge and skills required to participate in a increasingly competitive work economy and job market, function as responsible workers in a democratic society, and achieve personally satisfying and fulfilling lives.”  As a result of the Prison-to-Work Project, student inmates will be better able to access education, training and employment opportunities.

Who are the Prison-To-Work Project Partners?

  • Maryland State Department of Education – Correctional Education Program
  • Maryland Division of Corrections
  • National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (NOICC)
  • Maryland Occupational Coordinating Council (MOICC)
  • Correctional Industries Association

What are the Prison-To-Work Project Goals?

Goals of the Prison-to-Work Project:

  • To pilot a life skills program that includes extensive career development activities using MOICC/NOICC resources.
  • To support teachers with comprehensive staff development for the integration of Career Development competencies into their academic and occupational curriculum.
  • To adapt and evaluate the MOICC/NOICC resources with a correctional population.
  • To disseminate and replicate a corrections career development process for the inmates.
  • To demonstrate that increased career planning will increase employment options and reduce recidivism.

What are the Major Resources from Project Partners?

  • NOICC Publications National Career Development guidelines Life/Work Portfolio Improved Career Decision-Making.
  • Computer hardware and software.
  • Career Information Delivery Systems (CIDS) computer based systems VISION PLUS is Maryland’s version that offers a complete database of national regional and Maryland specific files on occupations training and apprenticeship programs.
  • Customized materials and curricular frameworks that integrate career development, academics and occupational competencies.

What are the expected Staff Outcomes?

  • Application of career development competencies within academics and occupational programs.
  • Utilization of NOICC and MOICC materials and resources in the life skills sessions as well as the academic and occupational classes.
  • Participation in the evaluation process for the piloted materials, staff development and activities and other aspects of the Prison-to-Work project to support school and instructional improvements.

What are the expected Student Outcomes?

  • Demonstrate knowledge of careers and the planning process.
  • Participation in job fairs and mock interviews.
  • Demonstrate application of academic and occupational skills necessary for employment.

What is the projected Educational Significance of the project?

  • Integrates career development resources into the correctional program.
  • Links the training needs for both inmates and correctional education staff.
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of resources and training and offers opportunity for customizing for a correctional setting.

Diana M. Bailey, Prison-to-Work, Project Director
Maryland State Department of Education
Correctional Education Program
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone:  410-767-0531   Fax:  410-333-2254

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