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California Prison Industry

CTE Program Graduates Last Group before Closure

Last updated: May 21, 2021

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California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Program Closes, Last Group of Inmates Receive Certificates for Productive Life after Prison

SACRAMENTO – Today, a final graduating class of 15 inmate Career Technical Education (CTE) carpentry participants received diplomas and/or certificates during ceremonies at the Green Valley Training Center at Folsom State Prison.

As a result of the expiration of the CTE contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the CTE program at Green Valley will be shut down on June 30. The contract with CDCR was not renewed along with other substantial cuts to CDCR’s rehabilitation programs. CALPIA’s statewide CTE program started at the Green Valley Training Center in 2006.

“Reducing opportunities for inmate training is sad but it is necessary so CALPIA can fulfill its obligation to provide inmate work opportunities while being self-sufficient,” said CALPIA General Manager Chuck Pattillo.

With a recidivism rate of less than 15 percent, CALPIA’s construction CTE programs are CDCR’s most successful vocational training programs, with the exception of the CALPIA MTTC dive program that has a recidivism rate of 3 percent.

Chuck Pattillo continued, “Rather than costing taxpayers an average of $49,000 per year, the vast majority of CALPIA CTE graduates will become law-abiding and taxpaying citizens. This program yields far more savings to the state than the resources that are put into it.”

A scaled down statewide CTE program will continue at the Folsom State Prison Modular Building Enterprise, the California Institution for Women, the Marine Technology Training Center at the California Institution for Men, and one yet-to-be determined location. CALPIA has recently closed other CTE programs at the California Institution for Men, the Valley State Prison for Women, and inside Folsom State Prison. 

The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, and Laborers Local 185 established the pre-apprenticeship programs to teach inmates construction and labor skills to successfully obtain employment upon parole.

After completion of the training, the first of its type in the nation, paroling inmates are eligible for placement in a full-scale apprenticeship program, offered through Northern California Carpenters Local 46, Laborers Local 185, and the International Association of Bridge, Structural Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 118. These apprenticeships lead to jobs with construction companies.

CALPIA pays the initial union dues and provide a full complement of tools to inmates who complete the program. To increase the chance of employment, all CALPIA inmate employees are required to obtain a high school diploma, or complete a GED, within two-years of beginning the program.