Life Skills

Life Skills provides success development and short-term, employer driven vocational training for inmates.

Program Locations

This project is offered to inmates at Clarinda, Fort Dodge, Mitchellville, Mt. Pleasant, Newton, and North Central Correctional Facilities. It is a combination of the Iowa Department of Corrections' Going Home Re-Entry project and DMACC's Training Academy-Career Link.

Key Components

  1. Development of individual success plans utilizing a wraparound process
  2. Life Skills curriculum delivered through Training Academy-KEYS-Career Link modules
  3. Vocational training provided by DMACC Continuing Education

Project Goals

  1. To enable offenders to successfully reenter the community.
  2. To allow offenders to assume personal responsibility and work toward self-sufficiency.
  3. To increase offenders' financial responsibility.
  4. To increase the level of educational achievement for eligible incarcerated offenders.
  5. To enable offenders to obtain and retain long term employment.

Primary Collaborators

  • Central City Community Development
  • Department of Corrections
  • Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning
  • Fifth Judicial District DCS
  • Institute of Social and Economic Development

Life Skills Link to Success Overview

The Life Skills modules and Vocational training provides success development and short-term, employer driven vocational training designed to meet individuals where they are currently and help them move along a career ladder for advancement to higher paying positions. Both will be offered 4 times per year on a 12-week training cycle at the 3 correctional facilities.

Training Academy-KEYS-Career Link training will be for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week. Offenders will also spend 3 hours per day during these 12 weeks in an Office Skills training class. This is a total of 6 hours per day in the classroom for a period of 12 weeks.

The Office Skills curriculum provides a basic understanding of the components in the Office 2000 software series: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. These components will provide the offenders with a basic literacy in the most frequently used computer applications.

Assessment-Training Academy-KEYS-Career Link Timeline

  • Week 1: Orientation, Assessment, and Career Development Plan
  • Weeks 2-6: Training Academy: Life Skills and Job Readiness Preparation
  • Weeks 7-9: KEYS: Keys Essential to Your Success
  • Weeks 10-11: Career Link: Getting, Keeping, and Advancing on the Job
  • Week 12: Post Assessment

Continuing Education Vocational-Technical Training Timeline

DMACC Continuing Education and the Project Coordinator will work with the institutions and employers to research and develop applicable on-site technical training. The goal of this phase of the project is to ensure that offenders are trained in a trade that will allow them to obtain and retain employment that pays a livable wage.