Thaddeus Watts Has “Been Through the Storm.” Workforce Training Helped Him Weather It.

October 26, 2020

Nearly 3,500 people in Kansas prisons do not have a high school diploma or GED, and only about 700 people in the state’s correctional facilities receive any type of education and training services.

As a result, people are left to return to the community without the support they need, lessening their chances of success following release. Thaddeus Watts is one of the lucky ones.

While incarcerated at Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Thaddeus participated in the Private Industry program, which provides employment opportunities at more than two dozen private companies for people serving their sentences at Kansas’s eight correctional facilities. Thaddeus received on-the-job training at MAICO Industries during his incarceration and accepted a position with the company following his release in 2018.

Kansas is currently exploring ways to address barriers to successful reentry, including employment challenges that people in the justice system often face, as part of the state’s participation in the Justice Reinvestment initiative.

Hear why Thaddeus considers himself a success story and how this type of training could help others inside Kansas prisons.

About the Author


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Sheridan Watson
Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
Sheridan Watson develops media relations, public affairs, and digital strategies to advance organization-wide initiatives. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she served for more than 10 years as a spokeswoman and communications advisor for three members of Congress. Previously,
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she managed a portfolio of policy issues for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and served in communications roles at the Archdiocese of Washington and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Sheridan earned her ABJ in public relations from the University of Georgia and her MA in legislative affairs from The George Washington University.
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