Moose Lake Corrections help inmate transitions by hosting resource fair

[anvplayer video=”5192902″ station=”998130″]

The Moose Lake Correctional facility held their annual Transitions Resource Fair today. The event helps incarcerated individuals with their transitions back into society.

95% of those incarcerated will be placed back into their communities, “this is crucial for us,” says inmate Michael Couzzi.

There were many booths dedicated to work, but these were not the only resources offered to the incarcerated population.

Today’s fair prioritizes those who have only six month to a year left in their sentence. “This is an opportunity for people in the community to put a face to a name,” says Warden Brian Collins.

Warden Collins mentioned the event always goes extremely well, as it is an annual event. “The incarcerated population is always really excited for this, we have to prioritize those with little left in their sentence due to how many people want to attend.” Over 200 inmates were able to utilize these resources today.

While speaking with inmates, they were really passionate about help and they have received. Inmate Thomas Luby told us “I’ve had so much fun today talking to people and finding out about resources I had no idea existed.”

Some of these resources include mental health services, transitional housing as well as things like support getting a drivers license food assistance. This is just to name a few.

All of the inmates I spoke with mentioned how hard it can be to be seen as nothing more than a sentence. Cocuzzi says “these guys want to get back out into the community and work to be better people. Everyone makes mistakes so keep an open mind.”

Luby mentioned how excited he was to get back to his home life. “I had a granddaughter last year and my family needs me the way I was before I was an alcoholic.” Luby says he is eight years sober.

The inmates were really excited to talk about some of the clubs that have been able to be re-introduced inside the facility as well. “Now that COVID-19 is under control, we are able to do a lot more and to build a community inside,” says Cucozzi. He is one of the inmates who runs the veterans resource program.

Cucozzi says their aim is to help make sure no veteran who leaves prison is homeless. Some other clubs present inside the facility include a bi-monthly newspaper, recovery club as well as just your average support groups.

Luby mentioned how when he heard he was being transported to the Moose Lake facility that he was excited to be in a facility where people care about what your life is going to be like after prison. “I have seen such an improvement in programming since Warden Collins took over. Its encouraging,” says Luby.