Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF) this year is marking its 125th anniversary as an asset to the Hutchinson community. The prison employs 515 state employees and 120 contract employees, who serve to maintain a tradition of rehabilitating its inmates. Its purpose is not only to remove criminals from society, but to also prepare them to re-enter society as productive individuals through educational and vocational development, enabling inmates to learn a trade to facilitate their transition upon release to earn an honest living.
There are over 1800 inmates at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. As of early June 2010, 359 inmates were classified as minimum security, 675 as low/medium, 358 as medium, 274 as maximum security, and 169 as special management. While a prison has negative connotations, it also is considered a "clean" industry that provides stable, solid jobs for the economy.
The Hutchinson Correctional Facility also has a reputation as an innovator - and to serve the community in the process. Inmates, for example, over the years have provided considerable construction labor at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, constructing several buildings and the grandstands. In recent years, inmates have remodeled the old mill ride and House of Capper veranda. Inmates also have constructed cabins for state parks. Successful on-site programs include training wild horses and dogs, some of the latter as service dogs. Various recycling programs have inmates making quilts from prison blues, toys from old wood and taking apart old mattresses.
"It's the long, slow dead time that reinforces the criminal thinking that brought (inmates) to prison to begin with," Warden Sam Cline once said. "We'd rather them feel like they've accomplished something and have them ready to enter the labor pool with new skills. We know the difference, and it's the programs that make a difference."
This Leadership Lab experience for students will consist of the following activities: