Inmate GED Program Making a Difference

"This will help me make a better future for me and my family. This has done a great deal for me. I came here with nothing, and when I leave I will have every opportunity for a great new life," says a Leon County inmate and GED program student.

Believe it or not, this Leon County inmate says he's grateful for his time in the Leon County Jail.

"For me it's been a great experience," he says.

Despite that, he's says he'll never come back, because thanks to a jail program, soon he'll have his GED.

"This program has helped me maintain and set goals for my future. This made me decide I wanted to go back to school and better my life."

Sheriff Larry Campbell says that's exactly what the jail GED program is supposed to do, and more.

Larry Campbell says, "We have got to stop the revolving door syndrome. I have more return visitors than the Holiday Inn. We're trying to stop that."

Program directors say it's working.

Tameka Smith, a program director, says, "It's been a very successful program with anywhere from 13 to 22 graduates each year."

But it's the inmates who tell the true story.

"It's going to be a major help in my life when I get out and lead me in the right direction. I won't be coming back ever again," says another inmate.

The program has been in effect for 15 years and is a volunteer basis for adults. There are separate classes for men and women, and all juveniles in the program who don't have degrees must go to the classes.