North Carolina Correction Enterprises (NCCE) recently launched a new denture manufacturing operation through their Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP). NCCE partnered with DentalQuest Laboratory to employ up to 25 inmates as dental technicians at the Pamlico Correctional Institution. Through Pamlico Community College, inmates who are accepted into the program are trained to become future Certified Dental Technicians (CDT) and receive a certificate from the college upon course completion. Part of the inmates’ training at Pamlico Community College included a complete denture workshop taught by Prosthetic’s Technical Specialist, George McIntosh, CDT from DENTSPLY.
Once fully operational and after the inmates have completed the CDT course, this PIECP project will open as a state and federally approved laboratory offering restorative services to dentists and dental laboratories outside the correctional facility. Aside from the obvious reentry benefit gained by the inmates who will have a marketable skill upon release, this PIECP project also provides savings to the taxpayers of North Carolina as a portion of the inmates’ wages are deducted for room and board and deductions are also transferred to the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund.
As the U.S. dental laboratory market is experiencing a shortage of trained technicians, the program provides a new stream of talent and gives the inmates a marketable skill that will help them find stable employment and ease their transition back in to society.