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WLKY: Thanks to technology, more inmates are receiving GEDs at Metro Corrections

Screenshot WLKY

By Lauren Adams | WLKY

On Thursday evening, Tyrone Thomas, 22, slipped into a cap and gown. Thomas was among the most recent class of graduates earning a GED diploma while incarcerated at Metro Corrections.

“It’s been probably since middle school since I was in a cap and gown. It’s been a while, but feels good. It feels good,” he said.

Mark Bolton | WLKY

At a special ceremony attended by friends, family and other inmates, Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton spoke to the graduates.

“This is one thing you can put on the checklist. No one’s ever going to take that away,” he said, adding, “Today is your day.”

According to Bolton, more inmates are studying for and completing their GEDs. At the beginning of the year, the department began a pilot program allowing inmates to use iPads.

Currently, there are 23 inmates using iPads to complete GED coursework. Inmates are finding it easier than hitting the books, plus they are offered an incentive.

Every minute spent on course work earns the inmate a minute to use the very same device for entertainment.

“I can listen to music, watch movies, play games. It just takes a load off, you know, at the end of the day,” Andrew Reyes, an inmate studying for his GED, said.

Bolton said inmates working to complete their GEDs are housed in the same dorm, which has been free of problems. “What we have seen is individuals that take pride in having the ability to access this technology,” he said. “They’re very thankful for it.”

Screenshot | WLKY

He praised those involved in the program, as well as Jefferson County Public Schools, which has partnered with Metro Corrections for years.

Bolton said he hopes to expand the program to include more inmates.

The program comes at no cost to taxpayers. Proceeds from the inmate commissary were used to purchase the iPads.

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