Presentation by the Department of Corrections
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY POVERTY REDUCTION TASK FORCE
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09:42 AM -- Presentation by the Department of Corrections
Ms. Joanie Shoemaker, Deputy Director of Prisons, Director of Clinical Services, and Mr. Carl Wotowis, Assistant Director of Offender Programs, Department of Corrections, briefed the task force on certain programs administered by the department that impact poverty and economic opportunity, including educational initiatives, substance abuse and mental health treatment efforts, offender reentry programs, and Correctional Industries. Mr. Wotowis explained the functions of the department's pre-release program, and how this program helps offenders to reintegrate with the community upon release. Discussion ensued regarding the success rate of the offender reentry program at its Cheyenne Mountain facility, and the department's efforts in the area of measuring the success rates of its reentry programs. Mr. Wotowis responded to questions regarding the department's most successful programs in combatting offender recidivism. Discussion followed regarding the importance of employment initiatives in offender success and recidivism reduction.
Mr. Wotowis continued to respond to questions regarding the department's efforts in helping offenders to gain employment upon release, and barriers to gaining employment for released offenders. Ms. Shoemaker responded to questions regarding its efforts to ensure that offenders have proper identification upon release, and certain fees associated with acquiring replacement identification. Mr. Wotowis responded to questions regarding the participation rate in the pre-release program. Ms. Shoemaker responded to questions regarding the participation rate in the department's GED program, and the status of the grant-funded biodiesel production plant associated with Correctional Industries. Ms. Shoemaker responded to further questions regarding the availability of recidivism data, and the ability of the department to respond to the marketplace in its offender training initiatives.
Discussion ensued regarding the process by which inmates are assigned to the department's various programs.