Secretary Tennant presented the administrators of FPC Alderson a special
proclamation marking Women's Equality Day.
Alderson, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant praised the work of the staff of Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Beckley and Federal Prison Camp (FPC) Alderson this week, saying the work they do goes a long way in solving the drug problems plaguing many West Virginia towns and cities.
About half of the inmates of both facilities are incarcerated because of drug offenses. But these men and women aren’t serving sentences where they are locked in their cells for 23 hours of every day. These inmates have opportunities that inmates at other facilities might not have.
These inmates can attend classes and learn a valuable trade or computer skills. They can work in a wood shop or factory setting assembling office chairs.
During a tour of FCI Beckley, Secretary Tennant spoke one-on-one with one inmate from Weirton who was serving a sentence for a drug related crime. The young man was working on earning his masonry certificate while incarcerated. Soon, he will be discharged to a halfway house in Wheeling. The young man said he hopes to be able to find work quickly.
“The work that the staff does here at Beckley and Alderson is important because they’re on the front lines of the war against drugs and prescription medicine abuse,” Tennant said. “If we can help these inmates learn a skill that will make them more valuable in the job market they will be less likely to reoffend and be sent back here. That means they can earn a living and more money won’t have to be spent on housing them here.”
Tennant said the work of federal prisons goes hand in hand with state prisons, which are facing an overcrowding problem.
“The work being done here keeps our society strong and our neighborhoods safe. These are West Virginians working at these federal institutions – so in the end the local economy is stabilized as well.”
The federal facilities were observing Women’s Equality Day. On August 18, 1920 the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, which prohibits any American citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. Congress later passed a resolution declaring August 26 of every year Women’s Equality Day.
Tennant reminded the female staff of the institutions of the decades long struggle women faced to win the right to vote, which highlights how important it is to get registered and cast a ballot on election day.
She reminded all of the staff of the facilities that their next chance to make their voce heard is just over a month away – the October 4 special general election for Governor.