Jeff Humphrey

Program Teaches Job Skills Behind Bars

Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308

Monday, December 4, 2017 at 3:37 p.m.

Behind the razor wire at Geiger Corrections Sean Gilbert is getting ready for a new, crime-free career by learning how to build things.

“I think it could definitely be a foot-in on a different lifestyle. Doing something different, besides committing crime. You know, getting a good job or career could definitely help with that,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert is one of six inmates graduating from the Head Start to the Construction Trades program.

It’s a free six -week course taught by Associated General Contractors and one of their projects was to build a new greenhouse to help jump-start Geiger’s garden in the springtime.

“Coming here and doing work- release and stuff, there’s really no chance of a job out of that. This kind of sets you up for a career. Give you the skills needed to get a job you know?” Gilbert explained.

Like other AGC courses, students get the training and certificates they need for entry level construction jobs.

Grants from the City of Spokane helps to fund these programs.

Spokane mayor David Condon thinks providing occupational training behind bars is a great way to put repeat offenders on the right track.

“It’s the right way to address the issues of recidivism and it’s the right way to address investments in our citizens so they have an opportunity for a job and have the background that really propels them to have a leg up as they transition back into civilian life,” Condon said.

Gilbert is now scheduled for release December 18th. He plans to start applying for jobs immediately but hopes, like the majority of the City Council, that his criminal history won’t keep him from an honest day’s work.

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