Part 2: Inside Century Correctional Institution
July 16, 2013
Today, we continue our look inside the Century Correctional Institution with a look at how prisoners are educated and prepared for release. Our series will continue this week inside the medical unit, the chapel, the prison’s most secure housing unit and more.
Inside the prison, a big focus is put on what happens to an inmate once he’s back on the outside with the rest of society. One instructor, Jimmy Rawlinson, heads up Century Correctional’s education programs. (Pictured top are computer work stations in the education department. The inmate computers do not have internet access.)
Over 50 inmates have earned their GED’s this year, and 28 have earned a Florida Ready To Work certification. The Ready to Work program is reserved for inmates that are just a few months away from their release, preparing them to become productive members of society. A English as a Second Language class is also available. and the Mavis Beacon software program is used to teach inmates typing.
Inmates receive time in the garden as a disciplinary action. In the garden, they weed and water by hand.
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Inside the Century CI Library is a room (pictured above) that offers a glimmer of hope to inmates looking to get out of prison. It’s a complete law library available to inmates wishing to file motions or formulate their appeal. Several inmates serve as trained law clerks, providing assistance to other inmates. Approved inmates can conduct law research on computers, but there is no internet access on the machines.
In the main library, there was bulletin board celebrating America’s 237th birthday. And a large red sign that seemed very ironic in a prison — “Sign Out Here”.
The remainder of library contains thousands of volumes like any ordinary library. Inmates can check out books and return them in a couple of weeks. But at the Century CI library, the books and magazines have been screened with no descriptive material about prison escapes or weapons, and no sexually suggestive images.
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Next to the CCI Library is the Residential Therapeutic Community. There are 14 employees that provide counseling and substance abuse programs to 160 inmates a day, based upon a community participation approach. The entire program takes just over a year to complete.
The program includes 10 classes geared toward re-entry into society after release, education and self-improvement. The participating inmates are segregated from the general population to avoid reinforcement of negative behaviors.
The Residential Therapeutic Community is all about positive re-enforcement. The building’s walls are lined with motivational signs and paintings, all created by the inmates. Several are pictured below.
Our series “Inside Century Correctional Institution” continues this week on NorthEscambia.com.