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Young Inmates To Have More Educational Options

A picture of a spiral bound notebook.
Solja Virkkunen
/
Creative Commons

Durham County will move forward with a  program that offers educational services for incarcerated youth.

During a six-month pilot program, the Durham Literacy Center provided male inmates ages 16-to-24 with life skills and job readiness training.

Brian Jones from the Durham County Sheriff's Office says the program will now be expanded to include female inmates and will help prepare youth to take the General Equivalency Development (GED) test.

"One of the biggest benefits to the tangible increase in reading level  is, hopefully, we've provided them with some hope they can continue that and they can achieve continuing to pursue that goal while they're out."

Jones says "follow-up" is an important component of the program, since the average stay the Durham County Detention Center is usually only a little more than two weeks. 
 
The project is not taxpayer-funded. Rather, it's paid for by the inmate welfare fund, which comes from commissary revenue.
 

Fed up with the frigid winters of her native state, Catherine was lured to North Carolina in 2006. She grew up in Wisconsin where she spent much of her time making music and telling stories. Prior to joining WUNC, Catherine hosted All Things Considered and classical music at Wisconsin Public Radio. She got her start hosting late-nights and producing current events talk shows for the station's Ideas Network. She later became a fill-in talk show host and recorded books for WPR's popular daily program, Chapter A Day.
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