At the Continuing Education Center of Prison Włodawa, inmates can participate in different programs to gain professional and social skills in order to increase employability in the future. Specialized courses in fields such as construction and design give prisoners a second chance at a proper and well-prepared return to society.
Figure 1. The Continuing Education Center of Prison Włodawa
ZWCAD: a Great Addition to Continuing Education
Back in 2017, one of the teachers at the center contacted ZWSOFT’s Polish partner, SZANSA, wondering if there could be any sort of collaboration. Working in a CAD-related industry and using ZWCAD on a daily basis, the teacher introduced ZWCAD to his colleagues at the center. After trying it out, the teachers all agreed that ZWCAD would be a great addition to their current programs. As Ms. Marian Marcinkiewicz, the director of the center recalled, “Drawing in ZWCAD is flawless and the exercises would provide new opportunities to those interested in learning about CAD software. We are very happy with ZWCAD!”
Believing that it is a purposeful measure, ZWSOFT donated a bunch of ZWCAD licenses to enrich the prison service programs.
Figure 2. Inmates at Prison Włodawa taking classes
According to the teachers, ZWCAD is perfect for every CAD beginner with its intuitive user interface and easy-to-use functions. The assignments, for example, drawing a variety of geometric objects or recreating a sample construction drawing, not only improve the vocational competitiveness of the inmates, but also their confidence in their abilities. Meanwhile, there are also group projects to help them better understand the CAD functions by practicing and communicating. “If they don’t know how to use the functions, we encourage them to consult one another so that they develop social skills and team spirit,” one of the teachers explained.
Ample Programs Bring Theory and Practice Together
Moreover, thanks to practical projects such as the POWER (Operational Program of Knowledge, Education, and Development, “Program Operacyjny Wiedza, Edukacja, Rozwój”) and Work for Prisoners (“Praca dla Więźniów”) programs, inmates get to work under supervision, connecting what they have learned in front of the computers with real-life experiences. The teacher added, “We try to incorporate as many real-life examples of projects or tasks that can be seen on a real worksite. Students are allowed to view and discuss drawings there.” For instance, 250 prisoners were involved in the construction of the new production hall at Prison Włodawa. One of them commented, “It’s a great lesson that gives insights into how real-life work in the CAD industry looks like and also a good opportunity to learn CAD skills.”
Figure 3. Practical vocational courses as part of the POWER program
Donation for Smoother Reintegration into the Society
According to the center, every year, around 3 inmates choose to find a job in a CAD-related industry after their release. Although this number does not seem to be a lot, ZWSOFT believes that the acquisition of new professional skills will result in a smooth and positive reintegration into the labor market and society for the once lost souls and is willing to keep making such meaningful donations.
(Images courtesy of Prison Włodawa)