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Dozens of inmates to receive certifications for job skills

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY)- The California Prison Industry Authority continues to rehabilitate inmates at Centinela State Prison by providing them with job skills they can use when they finish serving time. 

Scott Walker, the General Manager for the California Prison Industry Authority said programs like these help inmates develop the abilities to be contributing members in the community.

"This is the first opportunity a lot of them have to start to choose a new path. Start to understand that a mistake they made 5, 10, 15 years ago, doesn't have to define them for the rest of their life."

Centinela State Prison inmate, Andre Wallace said the program has helped him change for the better and give him hope for life after being incarcerated. 

"It has helped me deal with my anger, my stress. To deal with other people and know that other people (are) going through things as well."

Wallace is one of the many inmates who received their job certifications on Wednesday.

Walker added that the program keeps former inmates from re-offending. 

"Unless we do something with them on the inside they're just going to keep coming back on that taxpayer cost. And so we've changed a lot. It's still got a long way to go. But we've added a heck of a lot more programs. There's a lot more fidelity in the programs. And we measure outcomes," said Walker.

For Wallace, the certification will allow him to meet the needs of his family and contribute to the community.

Wallace said, "I need to be there for them so this program has helped me be able to get out, find employment and provide for my family."

Billy Khang

Billy Khang joined KYMA in January of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.

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