Ohio correctional facilities provide horticultural training

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An educational program offered in Ohio’s correctional facilities is training and certifying inmates for green industry jobs.

March 2, 2018

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Reducing recidivism is the main goal of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, according to Dwight Anstaett, career-technical education (CTE) director for the Ohio Central School System, Chartered in 1973. The school district offers 11 different horticulture and turf programs to qualified inmates. Additionally, those who pass the program are all Ohio Certified Nursery Technicians (OCNT) upon completion.

“You need to know something to do something,” Anstaett said. “And that’s what we are trying to do here.”

Students in the program are typically minimum or medium security inmates looking to reach parole within five years. The students also must have at least an eighth grade reading level.

“We want to get them out there and get them jobs,” Anstaett said. “So those people who aren’t getting out any time soon, this isn’t for them.”

The curriculum in this CTE program is aligned to the OCNT because the instructors recognize how valuable a certification is when trying to get a job. The programs offered include garden center certification, core landscaper certification and grower certification. Read the full story online at bit.ly/GreenIndustryEdu.

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