More Funding Adds Up to More Opportunities for Inmates

December 1, 2015

Topeka, Kan. – More female inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility (TCF) will have an opportunity to turn their lives around thanks to a grant awarded to Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology. The funding, provided by the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education of the U. S. Department of Education, totals $855,171 over a three year period and supports the Improved Reentry Education project or IRE. It is designed to provide career technical education and training to the women housed at TCF.

IRE includes co-enrollment in GED coursework, for those participants who have not completed high school, and technical education with the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential. The inmates also receive job readiness coaching and support in seeking employment.

“This project is an extension of a current successful program at TCF and is based on research which indicates inmates who receive technical training are more likely to be employed and less likely to return to prison than inmates who receive no technical training,” said Gillian Gabelmann, associate dean of technical education, Washburn Tech. “The results have been astounding and we are grateful to share this opportunity with even more women.”

IRE is one of several projects that is a joint venture between Washburn University Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and Washburn Tech. OSP promotes and facilitates the acquisition of external funding to support Washburn University programs, projects and related activities.

Washburn Tech offers more than 30 career programs and serves nearly 2,000 students. It has a unique affiliation with Washburn Univeristy, which is a four-year public institution that has more than 6,900 students involved in more than 200 academic programs.