By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
Apprenticeships can play a key role in cost-savings corrections reforms by ensuring individuals have a path to success after incarceration, Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey believes.
Ramsey said he is excited by the will of this administration to work on criminal justice issues and pointed to the passage of felony expungement legislation in the 2016 session, which was pushed for by the Kentucky Chamber, as a “proud moment.”
The new secretary said once an individual has served his time, it is important that he is not again punished once he is released and Ramsey added there is more work to be done on this front.
“We are going to work collectively with the Justice Cabinet to start working on working with inmates behind the wall. Because all the data shows that when they come out if they have nothing to go to, they are going to go back,” Ramsey said. “So we are working like the dickens, again, to ensure that one, businesses will hire these folks when they get out because the thing that we do not want to do is train them, have them ready to go, and have nowhere to go.”
Ramsey said it is incumbent upon businesses to understand that “these are our sisters and brothers, these are Kentuckians,” and they need help. Because of this, Ramsey said he has been speaking with many businesses about partnering to make a positive impact on criminal justice reform through apprenticeship programs.
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