LARNED — The opening of a new vocational building at Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility this Thursday will expand the facility’s vocational offerings through Barton Community College.
Officials from the Kansas Department of Corrections and Barton will dedicate the 8,352-square-foot building, constructed in part by offenders in the vocational program, at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 29. The correctional facility is located at 1318 K-264.
In 2017, the facility modified its mission to focus on education and vocational training for young male offenders, ages 18 to 25 years old. In addition to GED, cognitive-behavioral, life skills and substance abuse programs, the facility provides vocational programs that have been shown to reduce recidivism in the target population.
The new building will house vocational shops to allow Larned to add hands-on training in welding, plumbing and carpentry. Educational programming at Larned allows offenders to attain national craft skills certification.
A Commercial Driver’s License program will also is available to minimum-security inmates.
Investing in the new vocational building and program expansion means more access to education for offenders, said Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood.
“Increased educational opportunities means offenders are better positioned to secure employment after release and this is an important part of not returning to prison,” he said.
The Larned facility consists of a medium-security central unit with 310 beds and a minimum-security West Unit with 288 beds. Larned also is an admission point for southwest Kansas for inmates serving a probation sanction issued by their sentencing court for a 120- or 180-day prison sanction.