Inmates at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center feared falling back into their old habits to get enough money to pay the bills, since no one wants to hire a felon. However, a new program at the prison in North Las Vegas is providing skills that offer them the hope of a better future.
A dozen of the women enrolled in the prison’s new beauty school. Successfully completing the 1,600-hour course will enable the inmates to receive licenses to work as cosmetologists in Nevada.
Associate Warden Gabriella Garcia told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the program is “a big culture change” for the state’s Department of Corrections. The Associate Warden said that they are starting small, but plan to expand the program. With its initial success, the administrators moved the classes to larger rooms and hope to make the course available for 50 inmates.
At the moment, two classes of six students meet for five days a week. Dorothy Muhammed better known as “Ms. Dee” teaches the course which is a partnership with the Enterprise Cosmetology Institute.
The women will take 32 exams over the course of the class. In addition to hairstyles like French twists and manicure techniques, Ms. Dee also trains the women in anatomy and physiology. With this background, the graduates would be eligible to continue their education and become medical assistants.
The cosmetology program is one of about 25 programs offered to the inmates at this prison. Other offerings include partnering inmates with shelter dogs and substance abuse programs.
The prison’s beauty school offers hope to women who previously feared falling back into old criminal patterns when they are released. It also gives them hope that they can offer a brighter future to their children.