CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County Detention Center hosted a news conference on Oct. 30, 10 a.m., with Sheriff Kristin Graziano and former S.C. Sen. Marlon Kimpson announcing a new allocation of funding for education programs for local jail residents.
During the news conference, the Al Cannon Detention Center received $591,725.00 from South Carolina Legislature for the year to attribute to its education programs that are offered for juveniles and adults incarcerated in Al Cannon.
Sheriff Graziano said since the program has been in place, 100% of residents registered in the education programs have completed all requirements for their educational track.
Not only have 100% completed their requirements, but “The best part, 100% of the graduates that have left this facility are thriving, and they have not reoffended,” Graziano said.
The money received will go towards technology and uniforms and education program infrastructure and partnerships. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is currently looking for a Director of Education for the programs.
There are five separate educational tracks residents can follow, which are getting a high school degree, GED certificate, associate degree, undergraduate degree, and various trade program certifications.
Every person entered into any of the educational programs at the detention center also must undergo 12-week cognitive behavioral therapy to change their mindset so they will be better prepared when they are released from the detention center.
Assistance does not stop once graduates leave the system; the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office keeps track of individuals who were in the programs to check in and monitor progress once they are released.
There are also community partners who act as a resource or even mentors for those formerly enrolled in education programs.
In addition, females have different options for courses and training than men, such as domestic violence-related help and parenting training.
For residents interested in enrolling in any educational program, first, they must apply.
Next, they’ll be screened by a staff panel and invited to interview so the panel can create an individualized education plan based on what the person needs, and the office can provide.
Sheriff Graziano, former senator Kimpson, and other speakers at the conference said the ultimate purpose of these programs is to uplift and give incarcerated individuals the tools they need to readjust and thrive once they are back in society.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the money will not be used to pay education staff salaries.