Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) toured the Ingram State Technical College campus on Thursday, Sept. 9, to gather information about the impact of education opportunities on those incarcerated in the state’s prisons.
The tour included stops at many of ISTC’s 19 career technical programs and a chance to meet and talk with students.
“I appreciated the opportunity today to visit Ingram State Technical College with President Annette Funderburk and my Senate colleague Clyde Chambliss,” Reed said. “The work that Ingram State does every day is extremely important to our state in that it provides incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to gain real world skills and training necessary to be productive members of our communities upon completion of their sentences and prevents recidivism back into the prison system. President Funderburk and her excellent staff provide strong, capable leadership, and I appreciate all that they do for the wellbeing of our state.”
Ingram, which has instructional sites in Bibb, Clark, Elmore and Jefferson counties, is the state’s only legislatively mandated provider of correctional education.
“The Alabama legislature has long recognized the impact of education on reducing recidivism,” Funderburk said, citing the 1965 legislation that established the college for the expressed purpose of providing training for the incarcerated. “Over 94 percent of those incarcerated in Alabama’s prisons will be released, returning to communities across the state. Without access to the resources and education needed to develop skills essential for securing meaningful long-term employment, many of them will ultimately return to prison.”
Ingram is part of the Alabama Community College System and is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. In addition to career technical programs, the college offers adult education, GED testing, and workplace skills training. Job placement specialists match graduates with employment opportunities across the state.
“Ingram State Technical College is a valuable asset to the state of Alabama,” Chambliss explained. “The job training and educational opportunities they provide for incarcerated men and women put inmates on a path toward success and brighter futures once released. The vocational opportunities incarcerated individuals receive at Ingram State benefit Alabama by preventing recidivism, thus lifting the strain on our prison system and creating productive, skilled members of our state’s workforce and communities. I appreciate the work of Ingram State’s faculty and staff and the benefits they provide for Alabama and our state’s incarcerated population.”
Reed’s communications director William Heartsill and Boone Kinard, ACCS Executive Director of External Affairs were also part of the tour.