Classification Manager Bennett Kight spends his days helping inmates place into vocational training programs and boosting officer morale at Jenkins Correctional Center in Millen, Ga. He has been with CoreCivic for seven years and enjoys being part of the company's focus on reentry.
What is a typical day like for you?
My work day begins at 7 a.m. I make rounds and visit with inmates. I help give them tools and resources they need. Whether that is trying to help them get an address to go to after release, putting them into a class that they need, or listening when they have a personal issue at home. Sometimes, you just know something is wrong, and it is important to listen and evaluate emotions and situations.
How has the company changed since you first started working here?
I’ve seen a transition to focusing on the reentry mission a lot, especially in the past two years. For example, Coffee Correctional Facility and Wheeler Correctional Facility have their vocational program partnerships with local community colleges. We help individuals take an active role in becoming productive citizens. We help them focus on the future and not just the now.
How does your job support CoreCivic's reentry mission?
We have reentry classes that help inmates learn to change their way of thinking and how to break previous patterns. I always let inmates know there are options. I tell them, “You are going to hear the word ‘no,’ but you have to keep trying.” I'm continually reminding them that they can be productive citizens, and they do not have to revert to making poor choices. They can change.