Minnesota jail's virtual classes expand to other area jails

Hello Corrections and Reentry Education Colleagues,

This July 24th Duluth, Minnesota News Tribune article describes an online adult education program that offers an HSE prep class, resume writing, career access, and money management for jail detainees. It is delivered remotely by one teacher from her home to five county jails. The details are included in the article.

Is this unique, or are there other remote education models like this one now? If there are other models, where are they? Can you share any details about them? Do you think such a model can be delivered effectively for state corrections institutions?

One of the jail administrators interviewed for the article described several advantages he sees in the model:

  • It increases programming as no one was teaching finances in his Jail before

  • Zoom classes mean that jail staff doesn’t have to worry about COVID-19 spreading from people going in and out of the jail

  • The class is secure, and

  • It is taught by a professional.

He said he would like to see this program offered statewide as an option for jails and prisons.

What are your thoughts about this model?

David J. Rosen



David and All, 

I am familiar with several models of programs using Zoom in corrections. Several of our Corrections Coffee Talk discussed how they are attempting to use zoom. However, they expressed the same equity concerns we hear in publilc education - lack of access. 

Not all individuals have a tablet that can be used. Additionally, concerns were about the cost of Internet usage from these tablets. 

For those who attended the coffe shop talks, would you chime in and let us know about your Internet / web conferencing access. 

Kathy Tracey