February 21, 2024



By
Lukas D’Ambrosio




Communications Office


Man at the front of the room, addressing others in the room.

John McKenny, financial education workshop instructor from the Office of the State Treasurer, addressing the class (Photo courtesy of DOC Communications).

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The Office of the State Treasurer joined forces with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to introduce a transformative financial education workshop series at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women (MCCCW). Recognizing the critical role financial knowledge plays in post-release success, the partnership aimed to equip incarcerated individuals with essential skills often overlooked in traditional education.

Financial education is a cornerstone for navigating the complexities of the modern world. The Treasurer’s Office has expanded financial education to Washingtonians throughout the state. This collaborative effort addressed a gap by offering a seven-week series at Mission Creek, covering topics such as building healthy relationships with money, mastering banking basics, effective budgeting strategies, understanding credit and debt, and navigating employment benefits.

“Every Washingtonian should have access to financial education to be able to understand the complexities of the economic realities that exist today,” said State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti. “These foundational financial concepts will help participants economically thrive as they plan for their futures and seize new opportunities.”

The curriculum aimed to empower participants with practical tools for managing their finances with confidence. The two hour, once weekly classes provided a unique opportunity for participants to delve into nuanced financial concepts, fostering a deeper understanding than conventional educational settings offer.

“A lot of these women have been in the correctional facility for quite some time, so when they leave with a strengthened ability to manage personal finances and the latest in career searching know-how, they can take steps forward with confidence,” said John McKenney, the Financial Education Coordinator for the Office of the State Treasurer and class instructor. “Getting back into the real world can be a big change, so providing resources to help educate and prepare them for that step, I think, is important.”

The Q&A sessions allowed incarcerated women to seek clarity on personal financial challenges, facilitating a tailored learning experience. This program not only instilled practical financial skills but also fostered a sense of empowerment, encouraging participants to take control of their financial destinies.

“This class really opened up my eyes to a lot of things,” said Teresa, an incarcerated individual at Mission Creek. “It made me understand more about how credit works. I’ve never had a credit card before, so it helped to better understand how these things are done.”

As the women at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women engaged in this comprehensive financial education series, they were not only preparing for their eventual reentry into society but also building a foundation for long-term success. By addressing critical aspects of personal finance, the class aimed to break the cycle of financial instability that often accompanies release from incarceration. The partnership between the Office of the State Treasurer and the Department of Corrections exemplified a commitment to holistic rehabilitation, recognizing the transformative power of financial education in reshaping lives.

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