October 17, 2023

MDOC Opens Prison Cosmetology School For Inmates

Morgan Howard

Have you ever heard of a cosmetology school within a prison? MDOC opened the state’s first licensed Cosmetology school for inmates in several years.
The Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology traveled to the Delta Correctional Facility (DCF) in Greenwood to cut the ribbon after spending a year helping to organize an instructional program for females there.
In the program, the first class of 28 inmates faced rigorous coursework in the science of cosmetology for a year.
Once the inmates pass the exams, they are officially licensed in the art of cosmetology.
According to DCF Superintendent Susan Swindle, inmates are excited about participating in this program. So far, more than 50 inmates have applied for the 28 positions that are available.
“To join and complete a course like this takes dedication on their behalf,” Swindle said. “Everyone remains excited about the program since it started, and the girls are tickled about it.”
Inmate Katrina Gordon echoed that enthusiasm in describing the accomplishment of finishing the program and being more prepared for life after incarceration.
“You have to have the passion to create and the will to keep going when you lose clients and get more,” Gordon said.
A contract consultant named Richard Thompson who was one of the first to start this program said that motivation was what they looked for in selecting the first 28 class members.
“We wanted to make sure we were getting people who wanted to be in the program and finish it. We had a great pool of applicants for interviews,” Thompson said. “We are looking to add more programs in the beauty industry.”
Those who graduate from the program earn money and leave the money with a license and tools.
Cosmetology Board officials said hardworking graduates can earn six figures within a few years.
Sharon Clark, executive director of the Cosmetology Board, said the graduates are skilled and ready to work from day one.
“They can walk into any salon across the State of Mississippi, apply for a job, easily walk into that field and just pick up and go,” Clark said.

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