Green Country Jails Implement Skill-Building Classes For Inmates

Inmates described the class as effective and educating. Some say they are learning how to become better communicators and handle situations more productively.

Wednesday, November 15th 2023, 6:26 pm

By: Cal Day


Inmates in several county jails across Green Country are taking classes and learning skills to prepare them for everyday life. In Washington County, some inmates are learning parenting skills.

The inmates are taking advantage of programs offered through Family and Children’s Services to people in jail.

“The class is very participatory,” said Lucie Doll, Family and Children’s Services. “There’s role play, there’s homework and there’s a lot of discussion, and we find that they’re incredibly engaged.”

Inmates described the class as effective and educating. Some say they are learning how to become better communicators and handle situations more productively.

“It’s also aimed at giving these individuals the structure or resources they are probably going to need once they get out of jail so they don’t end up coming back,” said Undersheriff John Copeland, Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The program caught the eye of a local lawmaker who would like to see something like this offered in more jails.

“I’m here to learn because parenting is so very important,” said State Senator Julie Daniels, District 29. “While people are incarcerated, we, the taxpayers, should want to make good use of their time.”

Other classes focus on helping inmates get their GED, prepare job applications, and even get food handler permits. Interest in the classes is high.

“Seeing these different individuals have an opportunity to better themselves, to establish or to increase their own confidence or their abilities—it’s only going to benefit them,” said Copeland.

Family and Children’s Services is working with inmates in other jails, including Tulsa, Osage, and Rogers Counties.

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