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First Hazmat-Trained Inmates Graduate in Groundbreaking House of Correction Deconstruction

photo1(March 29, 2013) --- Nearly 40 inmates are now a step closer to getting good-paying jobs when they leave prison, thanks to one of the largest and most innovative “behind the fence” projects underway in an American prison.

The men graduated with certifications in lead abatement and other hazmat and construction training, and will become the first to actually help deconstruct the closed Maryland House of Correction. Their 92-hour construction training program included confined space entry, respiratory protection, lead abatement, and fall protection, among other skills.

If successful in their continued work, these inmates could potentially get good jobs on the outside.

Under Secretary Gary Maynard, who spoke to the men and greeted each one personally, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has striven to increase partnerships with vendors, which conducted some of this training, in order to help inmates receive skills and certifications that will help them land jobs when they leave the correctional system.

photo2When the training concludes, approximately 160 inmates who are close to release will have received the training - and most will have a hand in the actual deconstruction of one of the nation’s oldest prisons. That deconstruction, rather than demolition, will reduce costs to the state by millions.

The project is supervised by Gary Hornbaker, who began his correctional career at the House of Correction, and was the prison’s last warden.

Warden John Wolfe of the adjacent Jessup Correctional Institution - where the deconstruction inmates are housed - reminded the men of their good fortune to be able to get this training, and reminded them to stay on course for the potential of gainful, well-paying employment down the road.