Vocational Training

Six vocational programs offer prisoners the chance to learn or improve marketable job skills:

Building Trades consists of practical experience in construction projects for the institution and sometimes in the local community. It usually covers rough framing, roofing and siding, drywall, interior and exterior finish work.

Culinary Arts trainees may graduate as Assistant Cook or Cook II depending on how well they do in the program. The course covers all phases of food preparation, including extensive training in the bake shop. Graduates have landed good jobs in restaurants and institutions.

Auto Body Repair provides experience in all aspects of body repair and refinishing; each trainee will spray-paint at least one entire vehicle before graduation. The instructor offers a session on custom work for students who have done especially well in the regular program.

Auto Mechanics focuses on engine work, from tune-ups to overhauls, and maintenance work including alignment. Modern equipment includes an electronic analyzer and an all-wheel alignment machine.

Plumbing and Heating trainees are licensed as helpers so that their hours in the program will count toward journeyman license requirements. Practical experience includes heating and plumbing system maintenance and repair as well as new installations.

Electrical Trades trainees are licensed as helpers and may take the journeyman exam after successful completion of the program. Theory and code are studied in the classroom. Since the course takes 12 months, openings are limited and only prisoners with a strong interest in an electrical career are encouraged to enroll.

Each program except electrical takes six months to complete. Each combines classroom study and hands-on work, and is taught by a certified instructor who is a professional in his field. Prior experience is not required.

As an established goal, BCF staff, in coordination with local employers, attempt to transition prisoners from their respective vocational schools to local work release.
The facility’s Community Programs Coordinator works with the Vocational Trades Instructors to try to find placements for those prisoners that graduate with distinction. The hope is that at least a percentage of those placed will continue their employment upon release.

Industries

The Bolduc Correctional Facility currently has three major industrial programs.

Wood Products Program

The BCF wood products program is an extension of the MSP wood products program consisting of the manufacturing of wooden novelties which are sold at the Maine State Prison Showroom.

Prisoners provide the basic woodworking skills and in return receive a small hourly wage. In 2006 the program produced 21,055 novelties. The BCF wood working program normally employs 15 workers.

Farm Program

From a small one acre plot in 1980 to nearly 100 acres of crops under cultivation, the Bolduc Correctional Farm Program has developed into a major supplier of produce for the DOC facilities. We are currently using approximately 90 acres, 40 acres for beans and potatoes, and 50 acres for hay and cattle grazing.

The farm operation is a major contributor and cost savings program to the Department of Corrections.  Our current three year agricultural plan is proceeding as expected and by the end of the growing season, we should have three major crops in rotation, i.e., potatoes, dried beans and hay.   These crops effectively complement each other and provide for healthier soils.

This past year also witnessed the construction of a new ninety foot greenhouse.   The ultimate goal will be the construction of a third unit and the implementation of a year-round vegetable program.  In addition, flowers could be grown to enhance the appearance of State buildings in all areas.

The livestock (beef) program has been reduced to only a dozen head, but will be sufficient  to support our Culinary Arts Program.

A significant addition to the farm program this year was the drilling of a well that has the capacity of replenishing our water storage ponds.  This new function in conjunction with our irrigation system should be able to provide the necessary water to our crops and enhance productions. 

Plate Shop

The Bolduc Correctional Facility operates the state of Maine license plate program in conjunction with the Secretary of State's office. In a non-new issue year we employ six prisoners on a regular basis.

For the year 2006 we employed a total of 25 prisoners for 11,900 hours.

We made and shipped 667,000 license plates.