Helping inmates prepare for reentering society


By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com



Shaon Matthews received his GED while incarcerated at the Logan County Detention Center. Did it within less than two months.


Chris Milam helps an inmate through the interviewing process.


Dr. Kevin Hub, superintendent of the Logan County School System helps an inmate during the interviewing process.


Being incarcerated puts a hold on your life. There are some who believe those who are put in jail should have no opportunities whatsoever, however, this way of thinking will only have a negative affect. When those who are locked up finally get released, they will reenter society, and by helping them while they are in jail, you not only give them a better chance at not returning, but allow them to be better people after they serve their time.

Logan County’s Adult Education and Jailer Phil Gregory believe this to be a fact. By supplying programs that help the inmate while incarcerated, you help the future of humane beings and society in general.

“I cannot say enough the importance of programming in detention centers,” said Gregory. “If we are to help those in these walls, we must begin immediately so when they return to society, they have the tools they need to live a productive life, which can help them stop participating in illegal activity. Rather it be a program with drug addition, learning how to be a better parent of getting you GED…it all helps.”

Members of Adult Education began a new program called Portal New Directions. This program enters the jails and teaches several modules including employment, banking, work ethics, budgeting, parenting, housing and transportation. Basically anything having to do with a person incarcerated entering back into society.

The beginning of this week Adult Ed’s Angela Robertson and Cheryl Markham came to the Logan County Detention Center, along with volunteers to set up mock interviews with inmates to better prepare them for getting a job.

Logan County Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub, Chris Milam of Champion Petfoods and Ben Kemplin of the Logan County schools central office all came out to help in the program. Each worked with inmates as if they were employers wanting to hire.

“This program is something that will hopefully help inmates once they get out of jail to prepare them to find a job,” said Gregory. “We had some that didn’t even know how to fill out a resume much less do a job interview. I was very impressed with how the program worked and the success of it.”

This is the first time this module of the program has been implemented into the jail in Logan County.

Gregory said he cannot thank the members of Adult Education and those who volunteered their time enough.

“I want to thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to come down to the jail. The inmates and I are very appreciative,” Gregory said. “The inmates had fun with this program and felt like they learned some positive skills.”

Robertson serves as the GED NCRC instructor at Adult Education. She was very impressed with how the mock interviewing went.

“The inmates actually take part in four separate parts of the employment module of the program,” Robertson said adding, “They had to make a resume, cover letter and application as well as interview.”

Robertson also believes the program was very successful especially for the first time around.

“The inmates really learned a lot in the process. The volunteers really tried to stump those who interviewed but they were very prepared,” said Robertson adding, she cannot wait to get more employers involved in the next session.

If you are interested in helping volunteer with the program, you can contact Markham at Adult Education at 270-726-8777.

Shaon Matthews received his GED while incarcerated at the Logan County Detention Center. Did it within less than two months.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_12289580_10208240645474302_4813913217743564258_n.jpgShaon Matthews received his GED while incarcerated at the Logan County Detention Center. Did it within less than two months.

Chris Milam helps an inmate through the interviewing process.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_12308643_10208240641634206_8467980462299202229_n.jpgChris Milam helps an inmate through the interviewing process.

Dr. Kevin Hub, superintendent of the Logan County School System helps an inmate during the interviewing process.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_12321117_10208240638554129_8800898446647005350_n.jpgDr. Kevin Hub, superintendent of the Logan County School System helps an inmate during the interviewing process.

By Chris Cooper

ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-72608394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-72608394.

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