The disconnect between prison life inmates and getting them reconnected to the real world has been a struggle for years. Many prisoners who get released often struggle to find jobs and take care of themselves.
However, Atlanta’s new mayor has made a plan to fix that disconnect by installing a new prison job training program to help inmates according to The Grio.
Through her new Criminal Justice Reform Platform, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is helping non-violent inmates receive “vocational training” in prison that would turn into a job upon their release.
The program called PAT stands for Preparing Adult offenders through Treatment, Therapy, and Training. The goal of this program came from a personal experience of her own with her father Major Lance who struggled with opioid abuse and went in and out of prison constantly.
“And the struggles that my dad had and his imprisonment and the impact it had on me and my brothers and sisters, and on our family as a whole as I shared throughout the course of the campaign, it really was the death of our family,” expressed Bottoms.
The jobs that the inmates will have are jobs with the city, which allows them to be able to properly take care of themselves.
“These are city employees who will have benefits and more importantly they’ll have a paycheck so what does that mean,” asked Bottoms. “That means while they’re incarcerated they can start paying child support while they’re incarcerated they can start paying rent but most importantly when they’re released they’ll still be city employees.”
Bottoms connects the struggle of life on the outside once released with a way for one to sustain themselves. “These men have an opportunity not just for a job but this is a career pathway,” explained Bottoms.
8 men have been hired to the Watershed Department of the city and over a dozen, inmates are waiting for training.