RUTLAND - Recently, students from the Stafford Technical Center's public safety program and students from the health careers program took a field trip to the women's prison in Windsor.
All the students had a chance to speak to three of the inmates and hear what it is like to be in prison there. Two of the women are doing a work program that allows them to take a day off their sentence for every day that they work. The third woman explained how she has created a career resource center at the prison to help the women with changing their lives around and allow them to pursue higher education or a career when their sentence is up.
All three women expressed that during their time at the prison they have decided to work on their high school diplomas. Two of the women added that along with their high school diploma they would like to get a secondary education through the Community College of Vermont.
Along with meeting with the inmates, the students also had the chance to meet with some of the correctional officers and a caseworker. The students were able to find out what it is like to work with prisoners both from an officer's point of view and from a caseworker's point of view.
The students were able to tour the inmate living quarters, the segregation cells, the dining hall, the education area, and the sign making shop, the license plate shop, and other areas of the facility. Due to the lack of time, the students were unable to meet with the medical staff.
If the students took only one thing away from the trip, it is that when working in any part of corrections, you have to remember that all situations are different. All people need to be treated as individuals.
Health Career Academy students who toured the prison were: Lindsey Brown, Emily Colvin, Kylie Ladd and Ariel Manning from Fair Haven Union High School, Chelsi Boyd, Amanda Erickson, Nahomi Franquiz, and Kelsey Gecha from Rutland High School, Kaylee Brown and Brittany Fitzgerald from West Rutland School, Becca Hall from Proctor High School, Ariel Martin from Otter Valley Union High School, and Victoria Baker from Poultney High School. Their teacher is Kristen Jarvi. Public Safety Services students on the field trip were: Poultney High students Krista Brayton and Jo Lilly, Rutland High students Ashley Hass, Ashley Barnes, and Daniel Ball, Mill River students Nate Hance, Kayla Jones, Cantlin Eaton, and Erika Stocker, Otter Valley students Justin Cram and Cody Hesse, and Fair Haven's Jon Schaff.
Editor's note: The writer of this story, Jo Lilly, is a first year student in the Stafford Technical center's public safety services program.