The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Nunez Community College to foster rehabilitation and skills development for inmates through a program which incorporates jail trusties into a college program to obtain a basic construction skills certificate.
“The program offers inmates a chance to acquire valuable skills, increasing their employability upon release,” Sheriff James Pohlmann said. “It also provides them with an opportunity to turn their life around and hopefully diminish the chances of them returning to criminal activities, which also is beneficial to our community.”
Earlier this month, Nunez worked with three trusties from St. Bernard Parish Prison and helped them earn their NCCER Core basic construction skills certificates.
The three-week program is overseen by Nunez Instrumentation Program Manager Alex Mulvaney and Capt. Adrian Chalona of the Corrections Division. Classes are held in the Parish Prison Chapel Monday through Friday for about four hours each day.
Sheriff Pohlmann said participants in the program are jail trusties who are non-violent offenders and have been assigned certain privileges or responsibilities within the parish jail. These responsibilities may include tasks like janitorial work, kitchen duties or other trust-based roles. In some cases, such as this, trusties are given the opportunity to participate in educational or vocational programs as part of their rehabilitation.
The trusties who participated in the program recently got to put their new skills to work in the Nunez Skillshop and try the college’s new VR vehicle and heavy equipment trainer. They also heard from Dr. April Lavergne about the many programs they could pursue at Nunez following their release and they spoke to a representative from Coastal Truck Driving School about the benefits of earning a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The fall semester group, Jeffery Spino Jr., Glen Guillot and Willie Franklin Jr., is the second group of trusties from St. Bernard Parish Prison to earn a certificate through Nunez.