Georgia Pushes To Help Prisoners Complete Education

A prison classroom.
A prison classroom.
Credit M. Spencer Green / Associated Press

State officials have launched a new program that helps people behind bars get back behind the school desk.  

The Georgia Department of Corrections has joined forces with Mountain Education Charter School.

The goal is to get state prisoners a high school diploma or GED.

“We believe that we can create better opportunities in life as well as lower Georgia’s recidivism rates, by improving the education levels of inmates while they are in our custody,” says Dr. L.C. “Buster” Evans, the assistant commissioner of Education for the Department of Corrections.

An audio version of this story.

Arrendale State Prison, in Habersham County, is the first school taking part in the program. It holds 1,400 female prisoners.

“You know, within a very short period of time, we’ll be able to see immediate results for this,” says Evans.

This program will soon expand to the Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, GA, next year.

“We’re taking it one step at a time but ultimately, we would like to see something of this nature implemented statewide,” says Sasha Dlugolenski, a spokeswoman for Governor Nathan Deal.

The program is scheduled to start in January.