For the past several years Utah Department of Corrections’ product production and work training division, Utah Correctional Industries (UCI), focused on making high quality products efficiently. Under the leadership of new UCI Director Scott Crowther, who was appointed in December, the focus has shifted from creating quality products to cultivating quality people.
“The biggest difference our staff will notice is that we are making offender reentry the number one priority for UCI,” said Director Crowther. “UCI is still committed to producing excellent products and providing great service to our customers. We can accomplish this, while making our communities safer, when we invest in the people who are making these products.”
Beginning May 1, UCI will officially begin using a new logo and motto to reflect its evolution. The new logo consists of a bridge formed by three individuals, representing the three distinct groups involved in successful transition for offenders who are employed by UCI.
The orange figure represents the offender population, who work in UCI’s 20 business lines during incarceration. The blue figure represents the partners in the community and business world who will have opportunity to hire well-trained and professional workers once they are released. The grey signifies the UCI staff members who bridge the gap between the offenders and the workforce by equipping inmates with job skills and work ethics.
Outside the circle is the new motto of UCI, “Building Bridges, Changing lives,” which speaks to the core of UCI’s updated goals and emphasis on preparing people for reentry.
“More than 95 percent of the offenders in Utah State correctional facilities will complete their prison sentences and return to our communities,” said Director Crowther. “Our focus at UCI is to help provide skills that can be used in real-world settings following release, with the goal of reducing recidivism.”
Research shows that the sooner former inmates can find quality, living-wage employment following release, they are less likely to commit new crimes and more likely to successfully reenter society.
In addition to a new logo and motto, UCI will soon begin an evidence-based program called Workin’ it Out, which develops cognitive skills and reduces recidivism through work programs with a focus on soft skill development. Soft skills are the qualities employers look for such as communication, resume writing, interview techniques, attendance, appearance and other skills that help former offenders get and keep a job.
This is an exciting time of change for UCI to help the Department of Corrections reduce recidivism and improve safety through quality workforce development.
- Department of Corrections, May 1, 2017