INDIANAPOLIS – The House of Representatives passed Senate Bill (SB) 173 today, co-authored by State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph (D-East Chicago), establishing vocational programs for inmates.

“About 18,000 convicted criminals are released from Indiana state prisons each year. That is 18,000 Hoosiers that have the ability to rejoin the workforce,” said Sen. Randolph. “We can provide that those citizens are properly trained and ready to obtain jobs and make a living on their own without assistance from the state.”

The Department of Correction (DOC) would work with local businesses to establish a training program for minimum security risk inmates to obtain skills necessary for jobs that hire and pay a sustainable wage to inmates, under SB 173. Offenders with less than 2 years until their release date would receive preference for participation in the program and must not have been disciplined for misconduct within the previous year.

The proposal previously passed the Senate 49-1 and gained unanimous approval in the House of Representatives. The bill will now go to the governor for final approval.

Randolph represents Indiana Senate District 2 which encompasses portions of Lake County, including the communities of East Chicago, Whiting, and portions of Gary, Griffith, Hammond, Hobart and Merrillville. For more information on Randolph, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit