There are many alternatives for inmates who have personal problems and desire to correct them. These options include alcoholics anonymous, self-esteem groups, and other voluntary groups. In addition, institutions have professional resource staff that is trained in various social science fields. Inmate participation in these activities will be encouraged upon the staffs assessment of inmate’s’ needs; however, participation in such activities is voluntary. Staff in each unit are available for informal counseling sessions and for fonmal group counseling activities.
The vocational programs at FCI McKean are designed to provide trainees with entry level job skills. All of our VT programs use a competency based system of instruction. Successful completion of a program is directly tied to the mastering of certain competencies identified in course curricula. FCI McKean offers vocational training programs in building trades, computers and culinary arts. Apprenticeship programs are offered in professional cooking and building maintenance. UNICOR offers the following VT programs: Administrative Assistant, Maintenance Mechanic, and Quality Assurance.
Apprentice programs are certified through the Bureau of Apprentice Training, Department of Labor. To enroll in a VT program an inmate must have a high school diploma, GED, or be enrolled in GED while making satisfactory progress.
Recreation and Leisure Time Programs
Recreation is an essential part of the overall educational program. Recreation and leisure-time programs are designed to reduce idleness and keep inmates constructively occupied; to promote wellness as a personal goal for all inmates; to reduce personal stress and institution tension; to increase physical fitness, goal attainment, and positive life styles, both in prison and after release; and to contribute to personal and institution stability through maximum participation in structured and unstructured programs. McKean recreation facilities include a modern gymnasium, indoor exercise area, hobby craft center, band room, and a large recreation yard. Schedules are arranged for structured leagues and classes. Recreation hours are posted in the housing units as well as recreation.