Blackstone Career Institute makes a difference in Louisiana

April Baur, Program Director, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women

The Louisiana Transitional Center for Women (LTCW) in Tallulah, Louisiana is a female correctional center managed by LaSalle Corrections. LTCW is a minimum to medium security facility that houses up to 525 female offenders. The large majority of the offenders at LTCW are sentenced through the court system and serving a sentence through the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

The offenders who are financially able, have taken full advantage of the Blackstone Paralegal Program including their Advanced Paralegal courses. The number of offenders taking Blackstone’s Paralegal and Advanced Paralegal courses seems to be multiplying greatly. There are many offenders taking multiple Advanced Paralegal courses through Blackstone.

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has recognized the Blackstone Paralegal Program as a certified program within the department. This means that the offenders can earn Educational Good Time Credits for successful completion of the programs. Earning Educational Good Time Credit means that they are able to have days taken off of their sentences. For each successfully completed course through Blackstone the offender is able to have ninety (90) days removed from his/her sentence. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and Louisiana State Legislation have limited the offenders to earning 360 days of Educational Good Time Credits.

Not only are these offenders earning Educational Good Time Credits through the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections but they are also gaining knowledge and developing skills that will aid them in finding gainful employment upon release. Several of the offenders who have been released from LTCW have secured gainful employment as paralegals in notable law firms. With these offenders securing employment they are not becoming part of the state’s statistics for recidivism. They are becoming law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. They are proud of themselves for the first time in their lives and are finally able to rebuild bridges they burnt through their times of incarceration and general addiction.

The paralegal certificates are not only beneficial for employment purposes but have also impressively increased self-esteem of the one’s completing the courses. Often times, this is the first time they have completed a positive venture that they started. There are so few positive motivators in their lives that having this certificate does amazing things for their self-esteems and self-worth.

The partnership with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, LTCW and Blackstone is making a difference in the recidivism rates of offenders in the State of Louisiana. If we can save one person, we have saved a family! Our inmate education program is top notch.

 

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