Rutherford County program aims to prepare inmates for reentry into community

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Innovative Program Prepares Inmates for Release/Reentry into Community

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Rutherford County Correctional Work Center (RCCWC) has a new program to prepare inmates for release back into the community.

Program officials said mechatronics is an extensive program which utilizes software and equipment to train inmates and certify them as Certified Production Technicians. Inmates will study curriculum and use competency-based instructional design. Inmates will be able to earn certificates in safety, quality assurance, mechanical, and manufacturing processes.

“RCCWC strives to be a leader in the field of corrections. While we continue to use tried and true correctional practices, we also value innovative methods that lead the charge in sending inmates housed at our facility back into the community better than they came in. We do that by providing programming that will give them the skills and tools to use to make better choices and be more productive citizens in our community,” said RCCWC Superintendent Bill Cope.

Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron said, “This is the first program of it’s kind inside the correctional system in Tennessee if not in the country. My hope is that we can end the cycle of recidivism in our community while saving lives and taxpayers’ dollars. By providing our inmates with specialized skill sets and certifications in a field that is in high demand, we are putting them in the position to find good paying jobs upon completion of serving their time.”

The first class of eight inmates began on May 4, 2021. As of June 23, five inmates passed their first module of safety.

RCCWC officials are working with TCAT to certify the inmates. They hope this can help them acquire jobs after time served.

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