City Council to vote on funding for new inmate program - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

City Council to vote on funding for new inmate program

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By: Channel 8 Newsroom
8@klkntv.com

The City of Lincoln is planning on a new human services program to help inmates avoid jail time more than once.

"We don't want to see folks just ending up in our jails again," city councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Baird said. "That doesn't help them, that doesn't help the community and it puts pressure on the jail itself."

To avoid that, Gaylor Baird said the planned program would help inmates prepare themselves for life after prison, one that includes finding work and staying off the streets.

City Council will vote Monday to appropriate $50,000 in Keno Lottery funding to the first year of the program. Gaylor Baird said a portion of that money would be used to purchase laptops so inmates can get their GED online while serving time.

"Having technology in the jail itself, having people have access to computers where they can study for and take that GED online is really essential," Gaylor Baird said.

The councilwoman also said inmates would undergo life skills training as part of the program, so they should be able to find work quickly after their sentence is over.

"This is a nice way to be proactive about trying to help people make a meaningful transition into the working world or into getting a degree that will help them find future employment," Gaylor Baird said.

For now, the program is planned for two years. Gaylor Baird said it would be evaluated after a year to see how it's going.

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