If you’ve called NCIA over the past three years, chances are the friendly voice you are hearing is that of Nora Talley. While you know that Nora is able to answer your questions or point you in the right direction … what you probably don’t know is that Nora is an actual Correctional Industries success story.
Nora was convicted for theft and incarcerated for nearly two years at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women in Jessup, MD. During this time, Nora had the opportunity to not only further her education by taking computer classes, but to also become involved in CI as a stock clerk in the commissary. She says that CI helped transform her from a selfish, uncaring person who did not take life, herself or others seriously … to a brand new person. CI taught her how to be responsible since she now had a job to go to everyday and tasks to accomplish … through this, she learned to hold herself accountable. And because she was receiving a paycheck, CI taught her how to budget her finances. Probably the most telling statement from Nora about her transformation is when she says that CI taught her that “being productive is better than breaking the law.”
In preparation for her reentry, Nora was first involved in a work-release program and then was referred to the opportunity at NCIA through her case manager. “This was a great opportunity for NCIA to practice what it preaches for reentry,” says Gina Honeycutt, NCIA’s Executive Director. Utilizing the skills that Nora learned from her computer classes and her past administrative experiences, NCIA hired Nora as an Administrative Assistant in 2008. Three years later, she is still going strong … and reports that her work at NCIA, as well as her work in CI, has shown her that life is full of opportunities and the best way to take advantage of those opportunities is through hard work and education.
On a personal basis, Nora continues to build on the successes she’s achieved since her release. She’s now married and is continuing her education by taking college classes at the local city college here in Baltimore. She also volunteers at a local women’s shelter. Her hope is to complete college and to one day start and own her own business. When she does, NCIA News will be sure to give you an update on NCIA’s very own success story!