More than 50 inmates at local detention center enrolled in GED courses

Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 5:45 PM EDT
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Class is in session at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.

"We are trying to create new interest here and get more inmates to come out and get their GED," says Assistant Director of Big Sandy Community and Technical College Skills U LauraTackett.

After several years with low enrollment rates, administrator Byron Hansford wanted to find a way for more inmates to take advantage of the opportunity to get their GED.

"I wanted to do something to try to give these people a way to not come back to jail," explained Hansford.

So he decided to offer $50 in commissary money to each person who completes the entire program.

"Once I did that we got about 57, I think, that signed up for the program," Hansford added.

With education being vital to almost every job, classes like these provide a better chance of entering the workforce.

"They have more opportunities. They have a lot more choices for them to get a career, to go to college or to receive better pay," said Tackett.

While going back to school may seem like a challenge, a brighter future is worth all of the hard work.

"I don't want to work in just any restaurant or any place, I would actually like a career," said Brittney King, an inmate currently enrolled in GED courses.

Hansford said he someday hopes to be able to provide college courses at the jail.

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