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Last month, Spectrum was proud host to directors from the Florence V. Burden Foundation, funders of the Work and Community Ready reentry employment pilot programs at the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC).

Spectrum staff were instrumental in organizing a chock-full day including tours of the Southern Maine Reentry Center and Maine Correctional Center

as well as meetings with DOC administrative staff and offenders.

One woman who participated in Work Ready wrote the following in an open letter to the Burden Foundation delivered that day, "Work Ready has given me the chance to broaden my work skills and open other avenues for me in the work force.  It has given me a more polished professional attitude. This program has been an essential part of my recovery and reentry into the community."

She added, "I have met many women along my way who are just 'doing their time' because they think they have no alternative once they are released. Work Ready has been an essential part of helping women put their past lives behind them and move on to a new positive life." 

Spectrum is nearing the end of the one-year grant intended to develop pre-release vocational education, job skills training and post-release referrals and support for incarcerated women.  Staff have worked with a number of local, state and national experts including the National Institute of Corrections and the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine to create a gender-responsive certificate program recognized by employers in in-demand industries.  The program is already being recognized as a best practice model.

Work and Community Ready was selected for a workshop presentation at the upcoming 15th Bi-Annual Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Conference.  The conference will take place October 6-10, 2013 in Portland, Maine.  It is a forum for national and international corrections professionals to share information regarding the needs, management and treatment of female offenders. More information on the Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Conference is available at http://ajfo.org

Spectrum's Correctional Treatment Division was established in 1993 to provide specialized treatment to criminal offenders with a history of chronic substance abuse and criminal behavior.  Today, Spectrum operates a range of in-prison and community-based programs throughout Massachusetts, Georgia, Maine, Tennessee, Iowa, Rhode Island, Florida and Washington State, serving more than 6,500 criminal offenders each day.

CONTACT:
Andrew Strecker, Development Associate
(508) 792-5400 x7113

streckera@spectrumhealthsystems.org