Eight inmates graduate from Iowa State Penitentiary apprenticeship program


Eight inmates graduated from apprenticeship programs offered by the Iowa State Penitentiary in Ft. Madison Wednesday.

Certificate fields range from cabinetry to cooking.

KHQA spoke with the prison warden about the graduates.

"Very proud. I want to do more. These guys aren't just negative. They want to take a bad experience, they're in prison, most of them for life, and make something positive out of it," said Patti Wachtendorf, ISP Warden.

After a long journey, Burt Smith now is a Journeyman in cabinetry.

He says he's grateful to have the opportunity and excited for his future career.

"I feel this is an accomplishment. I mean, it feels good to actually do something positive as opposed to something not positive. This is an environment where you don't get many opportunities like this," said Smith.

Smith says he's plans to put his skills to good use when he is released.

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