The Lawtey Correctional Institution located (LCI) in Florida and the Mount Olive Correctional Complex (MOCC) located in West Virginia, are two prisons outside of Texas, which have a major difference both in the nature and characteristic of the prisons, as well as the inmate programs and services offered. The LCI is a level 3 prison for adult males that was established in 1973, but which has undergone significant transformations , becoming a faith-based correctional institution starting the year 2004 (PrisonPro, 2017). The LCI facility houses approximately 850 inmates, most of who have been initiated into the faith-based and character transformation programs of the facility. On the other hand, the MOCC is the only maximum security prison for the state of West Virginia, which started construction in 1991, and received its first inmate in 1995, housing approximately 1,050 inmates (WV Division of Corrections, 2017).
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The prison characteristics of the MOCC are those of the level 5 prison facilities of the United States, characterized by a high and extensive perimeter wall, with both manual and electronic security controls (WV Division of Corrections, 2017). The MOCC also operates its own small town within, which provides the prison facility with all manner of facilities ranging from a post office to court room, library, leisure and recreational gymnasium, hospital and medical clinic, classrooms, chapel and food vending facilities (WV Division of Corrections, 2017). There are two most interesting things about the MOCC. The first interesting aspect of the MOCC is that it has established an ‘Offender Banking’ program, where the family and friends can deposit money to their inmates trust fund accounts, and thus enable them to have a good start of life, once they have been released and integrated back to the community at the end of their jail term (WV Division of Corrections, 2017). The second most interesting aspect of the MOCC is that it has a well structured educational system that covers all levels of educational and vocational training programs. Thus, the MOCC does not only offer educational and vocational training programs to its inmates, but also limited Associate’s Degrees courses (WV Division of Corrections, 2017). The MOCC has partnered with several institutions of higher learning such as BridgeValley Community & Technical College offering inmates degree courses in various technical fields, and Appalachian Bible College that offer the inmates Bachelor of Arts Degree in Bible & Theology (WV Division of Corrections, 2017). The vocational training offered to the inmates include culinary arts and food apprenticeship programs, welding, business education, vocational agriculture and transition skills from inmate life to normal communal life on release (WV Division of Corrections, 2017). Through the elaborate and expansive educational program, the MOCC is able to transform the lives of its inmates, through offering them an opportunity to live a fulfilling, economically gainful and productive life, following the end of their prison terms.
The LCI offers educational courses to enable the inmates attain their GED and acquire he adult basic education level (PrisonPro, 2017). Nevertheless, the most interesting aspect of the LCI is that it has established the Chaplains office as one of its core institutional administrative component. The Chaplains Office offers the characteristic LCI faith-and-character-based program, which seeks to help offenders transform their behaviors through spiritual and faith interventions, while at the same time offering rehabilitative interventions for anger management and drug and substance abuse (PrisonPro, 2017). Once rehabilitated though the program, the inmates are thereby given an opportunity to work through gainful employment, where the offenders are allocated to various work crews and work in the communities, especially in the interagency collaboration programs of the departments of public works, transport, and others (PrisonPro, 2017).
- PrisonPro. (2017). Lawtey Correctional Institution. Retrieved: http://www.prisonpro.com/content/lawtey-correctional-institution
- WV Division of Corrections. (2017). Mount Olive Correctional Complex. Retrieved: http://www.wvdoc.com/wvdoc/PrisonsandFacilities/MountOliveCorrectionalComplex/tabid/51/Default.aspx