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Local News

Sheriff's office announces high school equivalency diploma program for jail inmates

YORKVILLE – Kendall County Jail inmates are now able to receive their high school equivalency diplomas through a partnership with a local community college.

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office recently partnered with Waubonsee Community College to provide adult education instructional services to incarcerated people at the jail, according to a Tuesday, Jan. 21 news release.

Sheriff's officials said in the news release the program is funded by the Illinois Community College Board, or ICCB, and focuses on providing instructional services to inmates to help them successfully complete the diploma in the state of Illinois. The goal is to provide educational opportunities, overcome hiring barriers and reduce recidivism for the inmates, the news release said.

Incarcerated people enrolled in the high school equivalency, or HSE, course will meet twice per week, according to the news release. The course will use a blended learning format, which includes tablet-based and classroom learning, to prepare for the HSE exam, the news release said.

Inmates who enroll in the program also receive more information about educational transition services and college and career opportunities, along with information on how to achieve the necessary credentials to gain employment in desired fields, the news release said.

Researchers have found inmates who take part in correctional education programs have 43% lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. Employment after release was 13% higher among inmates who participated in academic or vocational education programs than those who did not, the news release said.

Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird said in the news release he's proud of the partnership and others that are also aimed at reducing recidivisim, or convicted criminals' tendency to reoffend.

“This is achieved by taking an active role in preparing these men and women to effectively reintegrate into the community and lead productive lives following their release from incarceration,” Baird said in the news release.

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