Jail inmates knead to learn job skills - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Jail inmates knead to learn job skills

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Inmates are rising to the occasion, learning new skills behind bars to keep them out of trouble when they get out. In Otay Mesa, they're learning how to bake bread, cakes and cookies and gaining valuable work experience.

The Sheriff's Department is always looking for ways to ensure inmates don't return to jail once they are released from custody. One program that is giving inmates a new lease on life after jail is the Baking & Pastry Program at the East Mesa Re-Entry Facility. Inmates learn how to make bread for jail meals, and pastries for events involving county agencies.

The six-month-long culinary program focuses on commercial baking and pastry skills, as well as bread art. Inmates learn how to knead dough for mass production or a smaller scale such as a mom and pop shop or pizzeria.

At the end of the program, inmates must pass a national sanitation exam. They will also receive a certificate from Grossmont Adult Education listing all their skills and the equipment they know how to use.

The goal of the program is to help inmates acquire work experience that might help keep them out of jail in the future.

"If an inmate has a job, a way to earn a living when they get out, they might choose that rather than going back to a life of crime and coming back to jail," sheriff's inmate services manager Robert Vander Kamp said.

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