RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Corrections will receive a 2019 Excellence in Government Award recognizing two public-private partnerships that have the same goal: training offenders to return successfully to society.
“The spirit of citizenship and tremendous generosity exhibited by our community partners Johnson Controls and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation benefit all Virginians, because when former offenders succeed, our communities gain long-lasting public safety,” said Director Harold Clarke.
VADOC is one of seven honorees the Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs announced Monday.
In the Green Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) program at Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, students gain technical skills in a cutting-edge classroom and an energy conservation lab built with assistance from industry leader Johnson Controls. This one-of-kind effort puts students together with industry experts and keeps them abreast of new developments in the ever-changing HVAC industry while also allowing them to earn certifications and credentials necessary for future employment.
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation works with VADOC at the State Farm Work Center providing care for retired thoroughbreds to prepare offenders for careers in the equine industry. Skills include daily management of and hands on care for horses, feeding and nutrition, health assessments, facility maintenance and management. Offenders can also learn skills to prepare them for careers in farrier science. Since its inception in 2007, around 100 men have completed the program and numerous horses have found adoptive homes. The James River Chapter of TRF raises approximately $100,000 each year to provide the Groom Elite program education for the offender participants and care for the horses.
Virginia holds the lowest recidivism rate in the nation at 23.4 percent. For those completing a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program in the Virginia prison system, the rate is even lower, at 12.3 percent.
Award recipients will be honored at a luncheon April 11 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott, 500 E. Broad St.
More information on VADOC click: www.vadoc.virginia.gov.