Cuyahoga County Expands Education Program for County Inmates

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Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521;


Contract Between County Public Library and Sheriff’s Department Will Expand Program to Serve Over 700 Students and Provide Over 7200 Hours of Instruction

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Cuyahoga County Council approved County Executive Armond Budish’s proposal for a $560,000 contract with the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) that will extend the Sheriff’s Adult Basic Education Program (ABEP) for County inmates through 2024 and expand the program’s services.

The previous two-year contract allowed CCPL to serve at least 200 inmates and provide at least 1,800 hours of instruction. This new contract will expand the program by 500 students and include an additional 5,400 instructional hours.

“Expanding this program will help prepare inmates for a good job after they leave the criminal justice system,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “This is key to achieving our reentry goals of reducing recidivism and providing individuals with the necessary resources to set them up for success moving forward.”

ABEP classes are administered through the CCPL’s Aspire program. Classes are held in-person at the County Jail and are available to both pretrial inmates and those serving a sentence. Classroom teachers, employed by CCPL, are licensed instructors who have at least three years of teaching experience, including one year of teaching individuals with criminal histories. Classes are aimed at increasing students’ educational levels and/or passage of a GED or high school equivalency exam. Upon voluntary entry into the program, each student’s initial educational functioning level is assessed, individual learning plans are created, and benchmarks are set. Each student’s progress is measured throughout the program to ensure goals are being met.

In the event outside service providers are not permitted into the County Jail (e.g., due to COVID restrictions), this contract authorizes CCPL to provide educational services to individuals on probation and/or those in several community-based corrections centers.