Louisiana Prison Readmission Graduates Prepare for New Start | Louisiana News
THIBODAUX, Louisiana (AP) – Kimberly Crochet has big plans when she is released from Lafourche Parish Prison.
“When I get out of here, I want to open my own salon,” said the 37-year-old Bayou Blue resident. “I’m taking college courses in business management and I’m a licensed cosmetologist. This program has given me the skills to be successful when I come out.
Hook was one of five graduates who took the first women’s pre-release course at the prison. The 100-hour program lasts 12 weeks and prepares inmates who are nearing the end of their sentence.
“Participants solve problems, make decisions, learn job skills, and do exercises where they create resumes and go through job interviews,” said Captain Karla Beck, Director of Programming and Reinstatement and Assistant Director. “They learn about values and goal setting, victim awareness and restitution, money management and anger management. They receive advice and benefit from placement assistance. It prepares them for life on the outside and teaches them the skills to lead clean, sober and productive lives. “
Inmate Mary Taylor used the program to learn skills to become a forklift operator.
“I’m trying to get my GED, and writing a resume is really going to help me look for a job because now I have a certificate on top of going to school,” Golden Meadow resident said. , 36 years old. “So this program has done a lot for me. “
Program instructor Debra Guidry said participants needed to earn their way to graduation by working hard and venturing out of their comfort zone.
“There are 10 modules that they have to take,” she said. “It prepares them to return to the free world with all the opportunities and positive directions we can give them. “
The graduates were recently honored at a ceremony attended by their families.
“We think it’s important to have a ceremony at the end because it’s hard work,” Beck said. “They accept this willingly. They don’t have to participate. During the ceremony, we ask their families to send messages of encouragement and photos and they can watch the ceremony via Zoom. It is really something touching.
Autum Adams, 38, said she learned a lot about money management during her weeks on the program.
“I also learned to create budgets because I am a big spender,” said the Lockport resident. “I am a licensed cosmetologist who has not attended school for over 20 years. I still never had to create a CV so that was really important to me.
Hook said she was leaving prison as a different person.
“When you stay here for so long you get lost a bit,” she said. “This program gave us back our self-confidence because it allowed us to regain our self-confidence. “
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