New program gives inmates chance to improve selves, future

Detention Center inmates have the opportunity to earn their high school equivalency diploma through Southeastern Community College. (CCSO photo)
Detention Center inmates have the opportunity to earn their high school equivalency diploma through Southeastern Community College. (CCSO photo)

Inmates at the Columbus County Detention Center are getting a second chance, courtesy of the sheriff’s office and Southeastern community college.

Nine inmates are currently enrolled in a High School Equivalency Diploma program offered through the jail at no expense to the inmate or taxpayers. The first class signed up April 7.

In a press release, Sheriff Jody Greene said each inmate is evaluated academically, and a personalized packet of information is created at the college for the individual. The packets are delivered to the sheriff’s office. 

Each assignment is to be completed in a week, at which time it is picked up and a new assignment dropped off for the inmate.

Nine local inmates are currently part of the program.

Inmates will complete assignments in writing, reading, mathematics, social studies, and science.  Upon completion of all assignments, inmates will have the opportunity to complete the High School Equivalency Exam (HiSET) for the High School Equivalency Diploma.  

Inmates also have the chance to participate in a Human Resources Development course designed to take their personal improvement plan one step farther. In the HRD course, they will be taught money management, interview and resume building, and other life skills to help them obtain gainful employment and become successful members of the community.  The course work will be delivered in the same way as the HSE coursework.

Greene emphasized that all of the work is done by hand, not online.

If an inmate is released or transferred, he or she can continue the studies through other community colleges.

“We’re excited to partner with Southeastern Community College to offer these programs,” Greene said. “The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office anticipates that this is a stepping stone to offer additional programs in the future.”

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at