Cranston, Rhode Island - In Cranston, Rhode Island, inmates at the Maximum Security Facility of the Adult Correctional Institutions have been given the opportunity to better themselves through a partnership with Community College of Rhode Island. Inmates can earn GEDs or Associate's degrees, and can complete training for a new career to get a fresh start when they are released. Inmates can take a variety of courses while in prison. Simple skills like reading and writing are taught to inmates. In addition, inmates can receive training certificates that prepare them for careers working in a barber shop, restaurant, law office, or asbestos abatement firm. Classes are available year round, five days a week.
Inmates who prepare themselves for a career in asbestos abatement will generally have good job security. Though it is a taxing and occasionally dangerous profession, asbestos abatement is needed in an untold number of American buildings. Once popular as an insulator and fireproofing agent, asbestos is now known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. When old buildings require renovations or demolitions, the asbestos present in the structure must be removed by a certified professional. In inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Inmates participate in educational programs for various reasons. Some do it simply to increase their chances of early release, while others do it to atone for their crimes. And many inmates educate themselves in order to ensure that when they are released, they can find lucrative new careers that will steer them away from a life of crime. Prison officials hope that in time, a four-year college might collaborate with the inmates to offer Bachelor's degrees.