Inmates obtain G.E.D. while incarcerated

An experience serving time behind bars can be a dark moment for many people, but there are those who use the opportunity as time to reflect and work on improving their lives. Two such examples of this are Nicholas Jones and Jason McWilliams, both of whom passed the test and met the qualifications to receive their General Equivalency Diploma.

Both men were able to accomplish the feat while incarcerated at the Knox County Detention Center. “Both of the young men are very intelligent,” said Knox County Jailer Mary Hammons. “I knew they could get this if they applied themselves. I told them so. They committed and here we are.”

Noting a collaboration with KCDC, Hammons said that Knox County Adult Education Instructor Sheila Barnard is a familiar face at the jail.

“With a busy schedule at our center, we are committed to being at the jail two days a week,” Barnard said. “I am very encouraged when I see students like Nick and Jason who have worked very hard to obtain their GED. When one obtains their goal, it seems to build the morale at the jail.  I would like to add that the students at the jail, the jailer, Mary Hammons, and the staff, have been extremely accommodating and welcoming to Adult Education.  She has made many adjustments for our program and our students and I greatly appreciated it.”

McWilliams’ performance taking the test originally had test administrators thinking he failed it. After completing the test with over an our left, he left the Laurel County testing center after being told he failed. He didn’t fail, however, and passed the test with a high score and passed every section when he took them on the first attempt.

Jones followed McWilliams’ lead.  He was given study material, passed his pretests with ease and then went on to ace all four segments of the test, earning his GED.

All money spent on GED testing is paid for by the canteen account of the jailer. No taxpayer money was used.

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