Georgia Department of Corrections
James E. Donald, Commissioner
Director of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (404) 656-9772
For Immediate Release
Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Corrections has a new way to care for its increasingly aging offender population via its Nurse Assistant On the Job Training (OJT) program. This unique program is offered to select offenders, and those completing the program receive a certificate from Middle Georgia Technical College and are allowed to provide routine assistance with GDC medical staff.
“Georgia’s prison system is growing and it’s growing older,” said Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald. “This training allows offenders to get the medical assistance they need, while providing other offenders vital career and technical training.”
Older offenders require increased medical care and additional funds to provide routine daily assistance. The Nurse Assistant OJT program helps meet that costly challenge. Once OJT participants complete their training, they are assigned to GDC medical units and assist officers and staff with caring for offenders. By the end of December 2008, GDC plans to graduate 15 offenders.
“GDC wants to ensure offenders re-entering the community are equipped with education and training to secure employment,” said Commissioner Donald. National and GDC data shows that offenders who complete vocational training have a 12.3% recidivism rate compared to a 27.9% rate for general population offenders.
The Department of Corrections is the fifth largest prison system in the United States and is responsible for supervising nearly 60,000 state prisoners and over 150,000 probationers. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 15,000 employees.