Learning to Live Better

From parenting classes to job readiness training, our life skills classes give inmates the tools they need to succeed upon release.
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Life Skills Training

Life Skills Programs

It takes a certain set of skills to successfully navigate everyday life as a responsible, law abiding citizen.

These capabilities are what we in corrections call life skills.

CCA's life skills and reentry programs are based on research that has uncovered proven ways to change thinking patterns, resulting in permanent changes in behavior. This is known as the cognitive-behavioral approach. Life Skills training impacts every area of an individual’s life, from coping with emotions to rearing children and from managing money to making decisions.

Cognitive-behavioral classes are designed to help inmates overcome attitude challenges and acting out in negative ways. Our approach follows a tested model of delinquency avoidance, crime prevention and cognitive rehabilitation. Participants learn about logical problem solving and the development of good decision-making skills.

Parenting and Family Dynamics

Many of the men and women in correctional facilities are fathers and mothers. Some statistics indicate that nearly three million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. While it can be challenging to effectively and actively parent while incarcerated, CCA life skills programs strive to introduce and reinforce positive parental lessons that offenders can carry with them upon release. Even while still confined, we instill strategies for inmates to build better relationships with their children as they prepare for family reunification.

CCA's life skills programs focus on every stage in child development, including the role of a parent in helping children succeed in school. Also discussed are the consequences of raising a child in an “at risk” family. Teaching parenting skills and developing cognitive self-change as part of a life skills may not, in isolation, prevent criminal behavior in the inmate, but it likley will assist the child in moving in a new direction instead of following in the parent's path.  Together, all of these topics may go a long way toward breaking the cycle of criminal behavior and incarceration.

Budgeting and Financial Management

Being able to smartly manage one's money is a critical skill. Learning how to spend in accordance with a budget can help former offenders withstand the pressures of resorting to illegal activity to earn money.

Poor management of family or personal finances is a major problem that is by no means limited to the incarcerated population. Few, if any, factors lead to broken families more often than financial issues. That’s why budgeting and financial management are a critical part of life skills training. Inmates who can prioritize and stay out of financial trouble are much more likely to be happier and more productive citizens after release.

Occupational Readiness

Getting prepared to enter the workforce involves more than just learning the skills of a trade or earning a certification. CCA's life skills programs have a major focus on employability and occupational readiness that includes:

  • Attendance
  • Career exploration
  • Following instructions
  • Hygiene
  • Job lead sources
  • Proper attire
  • Punctuality
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal Skills

Sometimes, the failure to function and prosper in society can be due to a basic lack of social or interpersonal skills. The simple truth is that many inmates, due to lack of education or lack of exposure to positive role models at home, have communication issues that hamper their success.

That's why life skills training includes a focus on interpersonal skill-building. Inmates are taught about the fundamental need for decency and respect. They learn communications skills and practice them in real-life situations. Programs also focus on independent living skills, anger control and victimization.