TELL CITY, Ind. (WFIE) - Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone says once inmates at the county detention center complete their sentence, it’s his goal to never see them again.
A program inmates join while their sentence is being served helps him accomplish that.
“Well I have a learning disability, so it’s kind of a little bit harder than me, so I have to fight two times harder than I have my whole life,” Angela Brucken, an inmate at Perry County Detention Center said.
Between the walls of confinement, focusing on education can be difficult for inmates.
“But I’ll get it cause I’m hardheaded and I don’t give up,” Brucken said.
For Brucken, taking advantage of the GED program, adopted by the Perry County Detention Center years ago, was a no brainer.
“To show my kids that I’m preaching about them about doing good in school and this that, and the other yet I don’t have an education, so who am I to say that to them if I don’t,” Brucken asked.
Sheriff Malone says about 35 inmates have graduated with their GED since the program started.
“We don’t want these people to come back,” Sheriff Malone said.
If the GED is completed during an inmate’s sentence by following the Indiana Department of Corrections guidelines, 90 days is taken off their sentence.
“So hopefully if they get a job and get their GED and get a job when they get out, maybe they won’t come back and be something in society instead of going back to jail,” Sheriff Malone said.
For inmate Lillian Johnson, she has goals to continue schooling and become a veterinarian once her sentence is complete.
“Having a GED is a better opportunity to get better jobs,” Johnson said. “A lot of people don’t take people who don’t have GEDs.”
The program made possible by grants and a partnership with Vincennes University, educational instructor Rebecca Miller says the process is rewarding for everyone involved.
“And you have that I’ve been in jail - what am I going to say in a job interview? Well, you’re going to say being in jail was the best thing that happened to me because I got my GED so hire me,” Miller said.
Sheriff Malone says the GED program costs taxpayers nothing.
It is all paid for through grants.