Training Inmates to Get Them Ready for The Workforce: Tax burden -

Training Inmates to Get Them Ready for The Workforce: Tax burdens to Taxpayers

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Mecklenburg County’s top cop says one of his goal’s is to reduce the number of people behind bars.

The Sheriff says he wants to make tax payers out of tax burdens.

That’s why one of the county jail’s has an inmate program – where they train, teach and get offenders ready for the work force.

It’s not your typical classroom.

“My students are different in that they are incarcerated,” said teacher Gail Mills.

Teachers like Gail Mills help these kids get their GEDs.

“My goal is to teach to them that they can be successful, they can learn and can make progress,” said Mills.

“It’s not work for me – I love what I do. I come in to learn and come to give,” said teacher Damiko Faulkner.

“They can get a job, they can get a college. They can do anything like a high school graduate,” said Mills.

Some stay here just a few days while others are here for several years.

“Being a teacher-they need it. In a world of negativity, this may be the only spark in their lives,” said Mills.

“One of the first things I tell the students is I am there to learn as well. I learn from them as much as they do from me,” said Faulkner.

This jail houses nearly 2000 inmates from 16-year-olds to those in their 70’s.

 “While they are in our custody, instead of them sleeping or playing games or learning to be a better criminal and return to society with their and get their high school diplomas GEDs,” said inmate program director, Karen Simon.

Inmates learn about life skills, carve furniture and even grow their own produce. The goal is to teach them the trades that society needs so that when they get out, they can stay out.

“These are human beings who have made mistakes. We have a mutual respect for one another. We are here to become better,’ said Damiko Faulkner.

The inmate director says Charlotte recently approved the ‘ban the box’ initiative so that means inmates don’t have to reveal their criminal history until later on in the job hiring process. Inmates say that’s one less hurdle for them to get back on their feet.

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