Del. DOC teaming up with local college to offer courses for inmates
DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Department of Correction is teaming up with Delaware Technical Community College to offer more opportunities for inmates. Soon they will be offering the option of earning college credits toward a human relations degree. “We think that we have folks who are currently incarcerated that have those skills with the proper training and education they could be a real value to employers in our communities,” said Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Claire DeMatteis.
The opportunity is made possible by the federal Second Chance Pell Grant Experiment. “Offenders want to better themselves. They want to understand how they can change their lives and not return to crime once they’re released. So if you think about the opportunities that come with education, we’re going to focus certainly on a human relations degree,” said Comm. DeMatteis.
Comm. DeMatteis says not only will the classes advance opportunities for inmates once they’re released. But she also hopes it’ll help reduce recidivism rates. “It is short sighted to not give inmates these opportunities. Every inmate is better when they have a higher degree of education, if they’re committed to a vocation, or a job path. Everybody benefits from that,” said Comm. DeMatteis.
Inmates are required to have a GED or high school diploma for the program. Inmates also have the opportunity to earn a GED awhile incarcerated. The college credit courses will start virtual in the spring. The courses will move to an in person format once the threat of COVID-19 lessens.