We are officially facilitating Life Skills Classes in Elk, Jefferson and McKean County jails. I can say with confidence that no two jails are alike. Each have their own procedures, regulations, and culture. We have quickly learned this job requires flexibility.
As for the days we aren’t in jail, exit binders are in the works for our participants. Packages include a full copy of the curriculum, general reentry resources, and personalized information about jobs and community resources. Binders are not permitted behind bars, so we store the resources until imminent release. Our goal is to do everything we can to help participants achieve their personal and professional goals.
And on a personal note: Prior to this experience I never imagined the words “I love working in jail” would come out of my mouth, but that’s exactly what I’m saying. Not only are we helping inmates gain reentry skills, they teach us something new each class. I truly look forward to our weekly meetings!