Burke County Sheriff Office offers new educational opportunity to inmates

Burke County Sheriff Office offers new educational opportunity to inmates
Burke County inmates using smart tablets
Burke County Sheriff's Office is introducing new educational opportunities to their inmates. They have launched a smart tablet program hoping to reduce violence in the jail.  There are currently forty-two tablets at the Burke County Detention Center that will be used to provide education and entertainment services.
All tablets are on a controlled network. The program comes through the jails telephone service provider, Pay Tel Communications Inc. It is a closed circuit which means they can not jailbreak or hack the tablets. The Sheriff's Office says the tablet usage will be on a learn and earn method. For every minute of education usage there is one minute of entertainment given, such as listening to music or watching movies that would be seen on a commercial fight. According to the Georgia Center of Opportunity, a criminal record reduces the likelihood of a job call back by nearly 50%.

BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - "Because of the educational tablets there is now the potential for them to earn certificates through taking some of the educational courses. And when they leave we are not sending them out with a resume per say but we can send them out of here with some constructive documented education.", says Major Chester Huffman with the Burke County Sheriff's Office.

This tablet program is no cost to tax payers. The Sheriff's Office knows there will be some who disagree with the program but it is an act to reduce violence and increase education. According to the Georgia Center of Opportunity, at least 95% of those who enter state prison return to society at some point and more than four in ten offenders return to prison within three years of being released.
"The majority will not stay incarcerated. We would rather have productive citizens than return repeat offenders and if there is anything we can do as a society, as a community, and as caring people we should be very concerned with that person leaving and never coming back.", explains Major Huffman. He also says if only a handful do not comeback because of the program then the sheriff's office has made and impact.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office future goal is to allow inmates without a high school degree to complete their GED because it is the number one need in order to prevent being locked up again.

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