Cobb County Sheriff’s Office offers detainees a chance to obtain their GED’s
The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office announced the launch of a program aimed at helping inmates prepare for success.
In partnership with CobbWorks and the Cobb County School District, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is offering inmates the ability to earn their high school equivalency diploma via testing at the Cobb Adult Detention Center.
The onsite testing will help reduce transportation costs and allow detainees to test in a familiar environment, according to the sheriff’s office.
While the onsite testing is new, the Cobb’s detention center has been offering GED instruction courses to inmates since 2022.
In a written statement, Capt. Yaminah Holt, who oversees detainee programming at the county jail said, “It took four months of hard work and coordination to ensure our detainees had the proper documentation needed to get funding for the test and to ensure rigorous site standards at the jail were met.”
Holt said that her favorite part of the GED program is seeing the detainees’ excitement. In describing the program. Holt said detainees must be qualified to take the GED test. They are first interviewed and tested to determine their education level before assigning them to an instruction course. The individuals are kept in the jail’s compliance dorms, have been in custody for at least 30 days, and comply with the facility’s rules.
In the past, Cobb detainees who were ready to sit for the GED were transported to other jails in the metro area.
Now, they can test for the GED at the Cobb facility where they are being housed. Testing is offered every Tuesday as long as there are detainees ready for testing.
Said Holt in her statement, “Sheriff (Craig) Owens is committed to helping Cobb detainees make the most use of their time while in our custody so they can be more productive once they get out of jail.” Holt also shared information on the program’s recent success saying, “I’m happy to announce that one of our detainees passed the first onsite GED test.”
According to a release by the Sheriff’s office, studies show people with a GED have higher earning potential and are less likely to face unemployment.
Cobb’s Detention Center is among several jails and other organizations working to provide opportunities to those behind bars in an effort to help detainees transition after being in custody.
Many offer training in areas including landscaping, animal training, cosmetology and other disciplines such as Henry County. The Sheriff’s Office there offers inmates classes in a welding program.
Holt went on to say, “We have to be able to reach our detainees, our communities in different ways, and by doing so, we have started with this form of rehabilitation.”
In Cobb County, the onsite GED test is viewed as a positive way for the jail to help its detainees.
Holt said, “In the long run, it’s going to not only better that individual, but it’s going to make them a more productive person when they get out. They will have the bare minimum that they need to join the workforce.”