THE Department of Corrections officially launched its outreach program with the Northern Marianas Technical Institute on Wednesday, NMTI interim chief executive officer Jodina Attao said on Tuesday.

Fourteen eligible inmates have been enrolled in the program, and will take trades courses.

A classroom has been set up at the Corrections outreach program facility where certified instructor Luis Deleon Guerrero will conduct classes for the next 20 weeks.

The inmates are currently taking “Core: Intro. to Construction Basics,” a prerequisite for all construction-related programs offered at NMTI.

“So much detail has been put into the planning process to make this happen. I'd like to thank the [Corrections] Commissioner, Wally Villagomez; legal counsel, Leslie Healer, Sgt. Jeff Quitugua, and the NMTI faculty and staff for their time and effort in making this a possibility,” Attao said.

“Working with our correctional system allows us to assist with providing other avenues of promoting personal growth. It is our hope that as we continue to work with inmates, they will have a better chance of finding jobs upon their release, and play a part in the decrease of recidivism. We are looking forward to partnering with others who are interested in serving the underserved in our communities,” she added.

In late September, NMTI and the Department of Corrections signed a memorandum of agreement for the outreach program.

Corrections Commissioner Villagomez had said that the inmates are excited for this opportunity.

“It’s going to benefit them [when] they get out. At least we’re preparing them for [reintegrating into] society and they’ll be able to find jobs when they get out with all the trainings that they have received. At the end of the program, they will be receiving certificates of completion in whatever [courses they] are going to be trained,” he said.

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