Inmates take Enfield college classes to get second chance

The inmates are planning on taking classes at Asnuntuck Community College as part of a program called Second Chance. (WFSB)

More than a dozen inmates are signing up in Enfield for a second chance at life beyond prison.

The inmates are planning on taking classes at Asnuntuck Community College as part of a program called Second Chance.

The potential students are receiving Pell Grants.

Connecticut is losing it's manufacturing workforce, partially because many workers are retiring.

Although there are jobs available, few are adequately trained to fill the position.

The state has been pushing for more people to fill these jobs, including those in their prisons.

"These are community colleges, this is what it's all about. Community colleges are meant to serve people, whether they are incarcerated or not to me is irrelevant," said Frank Gulluni of the Advanced Manufacturing Center.

In two weeks, the group of inmates will be bused to the college and other community colleges around the state for hands-on training.

They will be taking the classes four days a week.

The inmates are low level offenders.

However, Senator John Kissel expressed safety concerns. "There's one guy watching 12 people. What if one person goes to the bathroom?" said Kissel in a statement.

Connecticut Department of Corrections commissioner Scott Semple said they will be properly monitored and separated from the rest of the school.

"They will be in their own classrooms with their own bathrooms. They will not leave for lunch or anything like that. Then they will get back on the van and taken to their facilities," said Semple.

Officials said security will be present at all times and there will be two instructors.

Administrators at the school said some of their current students are ex-offenders and even sex offenders.

They said they hope their incarcerated students will use this experience to find jobs that will help them lead better lives.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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