Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office takes pride in its newest initiative aimed at reducing recidivism rates—the Transitioning Opportunities for Work, Education and Reality Program (TOWER).
TOWER is a five-week program that connects inmates with job training and employment opportunities.
It provides inmates who are to be released within 180 days with opportunities for practical job training, coaching and employment opportunities upon release.
TOWER: A Product of Collaboration
The program was made possible in partnership with:
- Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
- Region 5 Workforce Board
- WorkOne Center, an Indiana workforce development organization.
TOWER Offers Practical Career Skills
The TOWER program offers practical career skills such as:
- Resume writing
- Employment application completion
- Cognitive behavioral techniques
- Dressing for an interview
- Conducting an interview
Upon their release from jail, graduates are linked with the WorkOne office for continued assistance. The WorkOne office is located about 1 mile from the jail.
TOWER Helps Inmates Regain Confidence
According to Jail Commander Capt. Jason Sloderbeck, many inmates feel that they cannot find a job due to their criminal background.
With the TOWER program, inmates will be able to regain their confidence as they become equipped with practical training and opportunities for employment.
“It gave them hope that showed that there are people willing to consider them and give them a chance.”
TOWER Holds Job Fair
The TOWER program held a job fair on October 10, 2017. Several companies took part in the job fair including:
- Wheeler Mission
- Firehouse Subs
- Sugar Fork Crossing
- Salvation Army
- C&R Roofing
- Merciful Hope Center
Education and Employment Reduce Recidivism
Figures show that education and employment help reduce recidivism, Sloderbeck said.
Only four percent of TOWER graduates in the county go back to jail. This compares to the national recidivism rate at over 40 percent.
For the previous six months, the program has enrolled 70 inmates. Of this number, 48 percent have been released from jail and got employed.
By the end of 2017, the sheriff’s office expects 100 people on the program.