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The state's recidivism rate is second best in the country next to Oregon. Less than 10 percent of inmates committed another felony Cortez Shoes 2018

He worked with the Texas Department of Corrections when the mentality was "lock 'em up and throw away the key," he said. The state's inmate population grew from 40,000 to 140,000.

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Gordon grew up emulating his father, wrenching and welding. He was hand picked by Fred Wilson, the welding instructor at Torrington. Before Wilson came to teach at the prison he owned a welding shop and was a high school teacher. He has a vice grip handshake and an iron heart. His students don't show up to class late. They don't do time in the hole. And they never return to prison. The welding program has a zero percent recidivism rate at Torrington, he said.

When inmate David McGuirk spoke to the small crowd, he recited a Nike Cortez Basic Leather Black

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and 90 percent avoided going back to prison in 2009, according to the DOC.

Wohl resembles a hardened inmate at first glance. Tattoos race down his arms. A goatee covers his face. But when he speaks, his disposition emits positivity and wisdom. He pointed to signs above the blackboard in the welding classroom where the Pythagorean theorem and other mathematical formulas were posted to the wall. "Everything out in the world is welding," he said. "It's not if you can melt something and hold it together." When Wohl heard Gordon's name, it brought a smile to his face. "He could be working on skyscrapers in New York City," he said.

"We've all been knocked down," he said.

For Gordon, welding is a "vague equation for life." Every day he builds and learns something new.

The state spends money on programs that will help inmates succeed in the real world, said Bob Lampert, director of the DOC.

"Idleness is your worst enemy in this business," said Steve Harsett, warden of Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution. He is confident Wyoming will surpass Oregon for first place in the recidivism category because his inmates leave with careers. "We try to develop as many jobs as we can in this Womens Nike Cortez Online facility," he said.

"It's easy to go through prison," Gordon said. "You can mess up and they'll just keep you."

"If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be the man I am today," Gordon said. "He was a positive. He's doing life and he's one of the most positive people I met."

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Wilson was Gordon's coach on the inside, always preaching patience and autonomy. But his father figure was Phil Wohl, a welding tutor and inmate serving a life sentence, who helped teach Gordon work ethic and responsibility.

"He cares," said Eduardo Llamas, one of Wilson's students. "I never had that." Llamas couldn't read until eighth grade because teachers would just pass him along to "get him out of the way."

"I could have sat on the pot, been lazy and caused discontent," he said. "But I chose to pursue something."

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McGuirk, originally from Casper, plans to earn his associate degree in welding when he's released. He's already applied for jobs.

On Friday, seven inmates received certificates from Eastern Wyoming College and the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institute for passing the welding class. It was graduation day. The emblematic black gowns covered their orange jumpsuits. The tassels dangled on their caps.

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famous Vince Lombardi quote: "It's not whether you get knocked down. It's whether you get up."

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"Welding has changed my life to the fullest," he said. "It's given me an opportunity to go out there and not revert to my old ways."

The irony of Wyoming's inmate population is that 80 percent have GEDs or high school diplomas the national average is 40 percent, said Konne Rife, education manager at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution. Gordon's problem wasn't illiteracy, drugs or alcohol. It was rage. He took anger management therapy and a course on criminal thinking when he arrived at Torrington.

"Keep them on the left side until you graduate," Wilson told his seven students. Family members filled the visitation room. Phones and Plexiglas separated no one.

"Not every Tom, Dick and Harry can come to the program," said Betty Abbot, correctional education programs manager with the Wyoming Department of Corrections.

Within the next year the recent graduates will be out of jail and equipped with the tools to make a living. Gordon has lived at the Volunteers of America halfway house in Gillette since he left prison in June. When he wakes up in the morning he is still incarcerated. Then he walks out the door, without handcuffs or restraints, and goes to work. On the job his work skills have expanded. He knows how to use excavators and has performed plumbing work.

Wilson said prison is "the first time someone sees value" in many of the inmates.

The welding program works with Eastern Wyoming College to offer a certificate and college credit. Inmates can use it as a building block to earn an associate degree in the field once they are released. It is the most competitive program at Torrington because it is the closest thing an offender can do to guarantee a job once he's released.

"Prison is rehabilitation," he said. The problem is a serious failure to adequately train officers and staff. Wyoming's inmates are not unintelligent hardened criminals for the vast majority. I enjoyed my interaction with these people very much for the most part. Again, the problem lies with the inherent incompetence of WDOC administration, policy managers and attorneys. Often, State and Federal officials are led around the facilities and carefully directed to whom they may speak to. As being proven out in the current presidential race, the citizens must take with a great big grain of salt what is purported as true by a Republican governmental agency. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward Nike Cortez Shoes For Babies

Wyoming prison recidivism rate second

Jessy Gordon is a man of conviction. He was busted for burglary at 19 a felony with a three to six year sentence. He spent his first six months behind bars self loathing. Thirty months later he left with a good paying job and a sense of self control. He will never go back to the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, he says. But he's thankful for his time there.

Inmates have individualized plans of action for their rehabilitation when they enter prison. If they didn't complete high school, it's a requirement to earn a GED. If they want to take college courses, they can. If they want to study a vocation, there are many to choose from. Some inmates study law. Others study computers. Gordon learned welding.

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