POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Education is often cited as the key to success, and that’s the idea behind a new ground breaking inmate education program that will be launched in Polk County jails, according to the sheriff’s office.
At 10:00 a.m. today, Sheriff Grady Judd will announce the “Keys to Staying Out of Jail”, a program geared toward proving practical and academic education to help inmates thrive as productive, crime free members of society once they’re released from jail.
"This program is the latest step in our holistic approach to reducing crime in Polk County. We began our approach in the jails by making jail a no-frills environment - we took away peanut butter, coffee, and milk, and replaced it with crackers, water, and powdered milk. We took away weights, basketball hoops, and entertainment television. Now we want to make the most of inmates' stay by teaching them how to be better citizens," Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The program is funded by the Inmate Welfare Fund and the SAO drug education and crime prevention fund, not tax payers.
The education will comprise of classroom teaching and television programming.
Examples of the courses covered include GED preparation, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Science, Drug education and prevention, HIV & Disease prevention, Self-care (cleanliness, personal hygiene, etc.), Wellness (Diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), Making better choices, and the importance of early childhood education.
"Care, custody, and control of inmates means providing a bed, food, and a shelter for them. But no longer will jail be a place where inmates simply lie around. By providing inmates access to more education and training-now all day long-we hope to give inmates access to the 'keys to stay out of jail,' improve their lives, and lower crime in our community," Judd said.
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