|Correctional Libraries Get Boost From Local Community Organization continued
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Following a presentation to the Parole Rotary Club by DPSCS Secretary Gary D. Maynard, the group revealed that their main philanthropic activity is collecting books for an organization called Books for International Goodwill (BIG). BIG President Steve Frantzich, also a member of the Parole Rotary, coordinated the donation.
For the many offenders who come to prison illiterate, the correctional education program begins with basic literacy classes. Inmates have the chance to earn their GEDs, and then enroll in advanced education, occupational skills and workforce development programs. In Fiscal Year 2010, 87% of available academic slots for the Division of Correction's inmate population were filled.
A BIG thank you is in order for the Parole Rotary and Mr. Frantzich! Their efforts to give offenders the tools necessary to succeed upon release through literacy opportunities will go a long way.
Want to know how your community organization can get involved in Maryland's public safety efforts? See our sidebar above on community presentations!
|Gateway Sign Projects Gaining Steam continued
The largest sign project to date is in the Carroll County town of Sykesville, which has ordered two huge signs that are about 35-feet long. Those signs should be in place this winter. Other communities, including Bladensburg, Williamsport, Smithsburg, and several towns in Cecil County, have also shown interest in signs of their own.
The process is simple: DPSCS provides the bricks, general labor and masons. The community pays for the actual sign and provides any concrete and blocks (other than brick) needed. Pre-release and minimum-security inmates build the signs on site. Towns benefit from the cost effective product, offenders benefit from the work skills learning opportunity to hopefully help with employment upon release and the environment benefits from the use of recycled bricks that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
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Any community interested in having inmates construct beautiful gateway signs should contact John Rowley, DPSCS' statewide Inmate Public Works Coordinator, at 301-729-7690.