• JRCF inmates earn university degrees

    • email print
  • 1st Lt. Zachariah Salamone | Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility
    On June 6, 10 students stood, draped in graduation gowns, caps, tassels and stoles awaiting to be presented their degrees from Upper Iowa University and Kansas City Kansas Community College. These graduates were inspired by their families and loved ones to attend college and better themselves in their future endeavors by achieving their goal of attaining a higher education. These graduates are also inmates at the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility.
    The Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility supports a robust academic program that hosts five accredited colleges — Kansas City Kansas Community College, Upper Iowa University, Adams State University, California Coast University and Ohio State University.
    With the help of Sgt. Robert Kratz, the academics NCO, and retired Command Sgt. Maj. STephanHansen, the deputy director of correctional programs, the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility has been able to enroll 27 percent of the current inmate population into college classes and has awarded 16 degrees in the past two academic years. Inmates are able to pay for their education by using their Veterans Affairs GI Bill benefits and are able to complete these degrees by receiving assignments, course work, quizzes and exams through the mail and then returning their course work to professors for evaluation.
    Kansas City Kansas Community College goes above and beyond by providing the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility with five courses taught each week with professors in a classroom. The education that these inmates receive will undoubtedly assist their reintegration into society at the completion of their sentence.
    Rehabilitation is the act of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction or illness.
    “For someone that has been working in military corrections for 35 years, it is great for me to see inmates staying focused on bettering themselves while confined in our facility,” Hansen said. “I clearly understand that these gentlemen that graduated today will someday be released from confinement and will live out in society as our neighbors. Watching these gentlemen graduate from college today gives them a much better chance at becoming a productive member of our society. Additionally, they have shown a great desire to excel and I am sure that they will take this same ethic with them when returning to our communities across the country. I also believe they will stand a much better chance of not returning to our facility for violating parole or mandatory supervised release, which will save the government money. These gentlemen should be extremely proud of their accomplishment today.”
    Since opening the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility in September 2010, 216 inmates have been released on parole or mandatory supervised release. Of the inmates released, only 13 have violated the terms of their mandatory supervised release or parole resulting in a reincarceration rate of 6 percent, which is 8 percent lower than that of civilian coreectinal facilities’ 14 percent, according to a 2013 Department of Justice study.
    Page 2 of 2 - Through the collective efforts of the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility’s programs, 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention) correctional staff, dedicated civilian staff and volunteers, we are able to assist in the rehabilitative process of these former Department of Defense service members and help them reintegrate into society once they have completed their sentences.
  • Comment or view comments