Our project ideas come from the following places:
- You. If your company would like to explore a cost-effective way to add to your labor pool with the highly-motivated talent available within a prison, contact us with your idea and we’ll do the feasibility research.
- Prison staff. You see the work ethic of the inmates who have decided to turn their lives around. You have an idea about the type of business that could leverage that. This is where you can bring that idea.
- Incubation management. Of course we are always on the lookout.
Almost any idea can be considered within the following guidelines:
- The work must allow the inmate to earn a job skill with a future. Not just a livable wage upon release but a serious boost in self esteem even while incarcerated.
- A project typically has an in-prison component and a post-release component, that is, a business operating inside and one operating outside to offer a seamless transition from inmate to parolee as far as work is concerned.
- The Second Chance Incubator is run by information technology professionals so projects within that area will get first consideration.
- Inmate training can be a large part of a project, but hands-on work experience must be integrated into the plan.
The projects we are considering are listed below in two categories. The first few have been approved by our Board of Directors to give us immediate focus. The second group of project ideas have met the above criteria, and we plan to set up an incubation around them as soon as our time and resources permit.
Animations are growing in popularity as an inexpensive way to sell products, services, and ideas with videos. Instead of dispatching a film crew with all its expense, delays, permits, and rights management, a trained analyst will produce a cartoon character to make the presentation. This works well within the security restriction preventing inmates from going on site to film or to possess expensive movie-making equipment. Alarming Hollywood’s actors, the technology is evolving rapidly toward realism on the part of the cartoon characters.
Computer programming jobs are in demand. This program would be designed so that participants develop highly marketable personal and professional skills that are relevant and competitive in today’s business environment. The language and applications are actively being researched with database languages like PHP and CMS applications looking good to start. An integrated system would give access to administrative oversight while maintaining strict security protocols allowing inmates to get real-job experience.
Tech Support and customer support jobs are needed now more than ever as Covid-19 and other factors turn us into a virtual workforce. Workers no longer surrounded by corporate resources will need more support to be productive. Preference will be given to well-trained, onshore, enthusiastic analysts going beyond phone support to the latest digital tools such as chat, screen sharing, remote control, etc. Advanced training and technologies ensure quality and productivity, while digital analytics offer security protocols superior to analog voice monitoring.
Digital content such as eBooks or e-learning narrations require professional audio recordings by trained voice artists. Voiceover services can be offered remotely and would be ideal for prison incubation. With noise-canceling equipment and inmates ready with basic reading and speaking skills, we could produce quality voiceover audio recordings without the costly studio fees.
Whether your business is looking for a “rustic” look or full-production finish, a sign-making shop equipped with a Sign Router CNC has the capabilities to deliver professional results. With building trades are well represented among prison inmates, a sign-making incubator would be easy to establish with the talented workforce already available and ready to fine-tune their skills.
Projects Awaiting Approval
When cities accept building permit applications, they often use outside contractors to compare the application data to the city’s building codes. Such contractors use their copy of those building codes to red-line applicant drawings and report back to the city regarding the viability of the application. The building trades are well represented among prison inmates, and thus present us with a breadth and depth of skills regarding building permits.
Exploded part diagrams are used in mechanics, construction, and engineering. Such diagrams are created with AutoCAD. AutoCAD is a computer-aided tool that allows many different types of designers to create diverse kinds of drawings and designs. Many of our state prisons offer an AutoCAD certification program and the graduates would greatly benefit from real on-the-job experience using what they have learned to create Exploded Parts diagrams.
When a photographer is hired to photograph a wedding, they typically take over a thousand pictures but only edit a percentage leaving hundreds of unedited photographs in need of postprocessing. Cell phones are the camera of choice by almost everyone today but in order to give those images, a professional-quality look, postprocessing is required. Adobe Photoshop training and experience provide inmates a pathway to return to society with gainful employment.
Real estate video tours allow buyers to view multiple homes quickly, helping them to narrow their searches without having to visit as many properties in person. Buyers can tour a property several times or show it to someone else without having to schedule additional in-person visits. Realtors would shoot the videos and inmates would use their trained video editing software to polish them.
A Technical document explains the use, functionality, creation, or architecture of a product. Think of it as a nuts-and-bolts “how-to” guide for your users, new hires, administrators, and anyone else who needs to know how your product works. These documents take time and creativity to craft. With basic skills in writing and reading comprehension, an inmate workforce would excel in this career field.
An agency would like their new hires to actually read their employee manuals or have decided to upgrade to a new Content Management System and wants to ensure everyone knows how to use it. Tests can be created on any subject or material to ensure knowledge meets the company’s standards. Testing is a great tool to discover threats and opportunities while giving inmates the chance to learn for themselves a wide variety of subjects.
The business will provide VR (Virtual Reality) development services to be defined here. These services will be enterprise applications such as facility simulations rather than services to the well-established gaming and entertainment sector. This approach proposes to integrate online education into a VR/AR simulation of a campus complete with study groups, clubs, socializing, guidance counselors, even participation in the occasional political demonstration. Available to us is hands-on AutoCAD expertise among the inmates as a result of an ongoing training and apprenticeship program inside the prison. If we could mold this into an effective way to produce facility baselines from orthogonal building drawings, that would add to the appeal. More info and get involved…
Custom t-shirts may be ordered by businesses to display company logos, support a cause, or promote an event. Computer skills, graphic design software plus a screen printer equals a viable business opportunity. Inmates can learn valuable skills and software while using their creativity to fulfill this service need.