Detroit program trains inmates for jobs on the outside

- They may be serving time, but the city of Detroit wants to make sure that time isn't wasted.

A new program has been implemented, designed to train inmates for jobs on the outside so they don't wind up back behind bars.

Admittedly, bad choices led to a prison sentence for Joseph Gratiot and Bryan Allen.

But now these two inmates serving time at the Detroit re-entry center on Ryan Road are spending their time getting prepared to never go back.

"I thought I was leaving with the same jacket on my shoulders with nothing, now I've got something on my resume," Gratiot said.

"I have a couple kids myself and being incarcerated isn't something I want for my life or my children," said Allen. "I have to be there as a father and to raise my kids. I have to lead by example."

Prisoners FOX 2 spoke with say they know it's not easy to get a job with a criminal record. That's why they are hoping this certification will mean they have more opportunities once they are released.

Prisoners here have access to free training in fields like, hi-lo operation and culinary arts. Even asbestos and lead paint removal. The idea is help the estimated 3,000 inmates that transition back into the city from prisons each year, work for the betterment of the city.

The training program is being paid for thanks to a $4 million grant.

"I actually feel good, I'm proud that I can support my family," Gratiot said.

"We've got at least 15 to 20 guys waiting for the next group to start," said Allen.

Right now, they have something to look forward too.

"They will be able to find jobs for us upon getting released after we complete the training," Allen said.

Across the country programs like this have shown to create dedicated employees

"If you're late or missing work, you are going to have a hard time to find another job," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said. "You are seeing a greater recognition. In Baltimore the number 1 employer of returning citizens is the John Hopkins Medical Center."


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