The Vocational and Life Skills advisory group was established and met for the first time on September 12, 2017. Key advisory participants include wardens, associate wardens, grantees, facility staff including unit and case managers, grant administrator, grants monitor, legal counsel, UNO evaluators, community custody inmate, VLS coordinator, reentry administrator, reentry manager, deputy director of programs and the inspector general. This meeting included crucial and lively discussion on how to improve programming, remove barriers, increase program participant success and meet unmet needs. The topic of aging population and assistance for this group among the institutions and at the Community Correctional Center Lincoln (CCC-L) was brought to our attention. Since that time, we have provided CCC-L and CCC-O with a variety of transportation options for the aging within our population. The standing agenda for the Vocational and Life Skills advisory group includes 1) performance by individual grantees, 2) best practices, 3) barriers to success and 4) unmet needs. The minutes from this meeting are attached.
On Friday, September 1, 2017, the Vocational and Life Skills program conducted one of their quarterly meetings hosting roughly 50 stakeholders. At this meeting ReConnect was awarded the Nebraska Department of Corrections “Grantee of the Year” award. ReConnect has made a very large impact and contribution to the Vocational and Life Skills program, but more importantly to the participants that attend ReConnects classes inside the prison walls.
In April, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts found the management fee in ResCare’s budget to be an unallowable expense. ResCare was provided the opportunity to modify their budget to reflect actual expenses. ResCare declined changing their budget and on August 8, 2017, notified NDCS that all services will be terminated at the end of September.
On September 30, 2017, ResCare completed their final participation within the Vocational and Life Skills program. To continue to provide programming at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women and Nebraska State Penitentiary, Metropolitan Community College is providing the Employment Readiness Program, which teaches resume writing, interviewing skills, and trauma informed peer support.
UNO Nebraska Center for Justice Research and Sankey-Berman, Grace, "Vocational and Life Skills Quarterly Report - Grant Cycle 2, Quarter 5" (2017). Reports. 24.