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Academic and Workforce Development Programs at the Montana Women's Prison, Billings, Montana

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $100,000)

The Congressionally Recommended Awards Program, authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects recommended by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-117, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 2010 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY2010 Department of Justice Appropriations Act.

Montana State University Billings (MSUB) will expand both academic and short-term vocational workforce training programs for women incarcerated at the Montana Women's Prison (MWP) and upon their transfer to the pre-release correctional facility (Passages) located in Billings. MSUB programs are intended to provide a pathway to self-sufficiency for women offenders and thereby decrease the likelihood they will return to prison and/or commit new crimes. Academic and workforce training programs will be specifically designed to: (1) improve basic academic skills related to math and literacy essential for post-incarceration success in higher education and/or today's workplace, (2) provide career and re-entry assessments along with job readiness training, and (3) provide short-term workforce skills training to match the needs of the region's labor market and as identified by employers in the region. The purpose of these activities will be to equip women offenders with relevant skills (education and work-related training) and access to support services that will help them stay out of prison and achieve personal and economic success. Program activities will be targeted to 20 women during the grant period.


Date Created: August 29, 2010