He plans to get master’s degree after being released and Credits Sanders Estes Staff and Programs

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Thomas Hammer has a knack for numbers. That’s why he was asked to tutor other incarcerated men at the Sanders Estes Unit in Venus, Texas.

“It’s not like this anywhere else I’ve ever been. We have a lot of programs. I’ve already taken two of the programs myself. They give us a lot more opportunities than you get anywhere else.”

Before his conviction and incarceration six years ago, Thomas was a math student at DeVry University. After he’s released in November 2018, he plans to get a master’s degree in electrical engineering. And through the facility’s electrical class, Thomas already has a head start on his new career.

“In our electrical class here for example, you have a whole house that you wire up. And in the woodshop, you actually build stuff that you can use out in the world.”

And that’s the key he says, learning skills in prison that will help him and others gain the education and skills they need to make the transition back to society easier.

“If a guy has a trade, he can go to the electrical union and make $13, $14, $15 an hour. He can actually live and pay the bills with that money.”

In addition to tutoring math, Thomas also helps fix printers and other equipment at the facility. He says the staff at Sanders Estes has been deeply invested in his success.

“There’s not a lot of places where you can just walk in and talk to the principal and have him directly put you in programs.”