Time behind bars is not intrinsically effective at reforming inmates. If an inmate’s situation hasn’t changed upon release, the statistics say it’s likely he or she will end up behind bars once again.
Ellsworth Correctional Facility and Barton Community College have long known this to be true, and stand as proud partners wielding the life-changing power of education where it’s arguably needed most. Barton has underscored the successful nature of the partnership by honoring Ellsworth Correctional facility with its Partners in Education Award, which is given twice a year to businesses and organizations in the community that have worked closely with Barton to accomplish goals that benefit both organizations and those they serve. Barton presented ECF personnel with the award at a ceremony Monday night at the prison’s Spiritual Life Center.
“Barton Community College has been an invaluable resource as we work for the rehabilitation of the offenders in our facility,” ECF Warden Dan Schnurr said. “They have created a win-win partnership for both parties, and have been truly innovative in the endeavor to prepare our men for real-world success.”
The organizations have been working together toward that goal of providing educational opportunities to inmates since 2001. Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman emphasized the win-win situation the partnership creates.
“Collaboration and partnership: that’s how you get the job done,” he said to the roomful of educators and corrections professionals.
Though Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts was unable to attend the event, he said he hopes the partnership between Barton and ECF will serve as an example and model for similar partnerships across the state.
“The education offenders receive while incarcerated plays an essential role in their success upon release,” Roberts said. “The great work of partners like Barton Community College is an investment in the safety of our state, as well as in the well-being of the men of this facility, because it gets them ready for a law-abiding, productive future.”