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Learning behind bars
Program looks to provide job skills
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Six inmates at Warren County Jail are taking college-level computer classes in a portable classroom next to the jail. The classes, which began in Franklin County in 2007 as part of Franklin County’s Community Re-entry Program, have been overwhelmingly successful.Class instructor Stacy McElrath said the recidivism rate, or released inmates returning to jail, of inmates in Franklin County dropped from approximately 85 percent to a low of 22 percent with an average being about 30 percent, for inmates who have completed the computer classes.Sheriff Jackie Matheny said, “Over a year ago, Dr. Warren Laux at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology wanted to meet to discuss a very successful program that was started in Franklin County. I believe they have over a 70 percent success rate with the program.