Madison County inmates have a new way to fill the time on their hands.

They can pick up a tablet and learn.

The Georgia Pathway to Learning Insights was started in the Madison County Jail in recent months to assist with the Georgia GED program for inmates, and jail commander Kerry Vaughn said it’s been really popular, providing a variety of educational opportunities. There are 25 educational tablets at the jail for county inmates. The program doesn't cost the taxpayers anything. It's funded through the inmate commissary account and handled by Pay Tel Communications, Inc.

“The program is offered to them and it’s up to their choosing which courses they want to take and it’s available for them,” said Vaughn “There have been quite a few to participate and it seems to be working well for us.”

There are no jail incentives, no rewards for participating, outside of simply improving themselves.

“We don’t give any good time credit or anything of that nature as far as taking those courses,” said Vaughn. “It’s just for their own benefit to further their education.”

But inmates who complete a course and want to document their work get a printed achievement certificate.

There are 907 total courses offered through the “Pathway to Achieve” program over a variety of subjects, such as parenting, college-prep, addiction recovery, self-control, anger management, career exploration and job skills, financial literacy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Participants can earn bronze, silver, gold and platinum achievement levels.

Between January and March of this year, 34 inmates had completed one or more GED courses, while one learner completed all 167. There were 1,017 hours spent on learning programs in the jail during that time.


(1) comment

Virginia Moss

This is a far better approach than the punitive attitude our society has always taken. There's a reason why most law breakers do what they do. If they had better options, they might make better choices. Everybody needs a little help now and then. Until they can turn themselves around we must keep them away from the rest of us. That should be the only reason for jails and prisons, not punishment.

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