MCE’s Continuing Allocation of Reentry Services (CARES) assists inmate employees in transitioning to civilian employment upon release. I have attended CARES graduation ceremonies, and they are filled with as much joy as any graduation. The knowledge, skills and abilities that inmates acquire prepare them for civilian jobs. MCE jobs are highly sought after in prisons. I have toured most of the MCE shops and have spoken to inmate workers. They apply for MCE jobs for the same reasons that you or I do: to support ourselves and our families, to be productive members of society, to have meaningful days, to give back to the community.
Yes, prison workers make little money. MCE is an enterprise and by law is self-sustaining. MCE contributes millions of dollars annually to the state. It operates on a very thin line. The benefits that MCE provides to individual prisoners, to the state and to various charities are numerous. Maryland is striving to reduce recidivism and make the state a better place for all.
Sandra Filippi, Takoma Park