CLC classes for jail inmates resume after a yearlong pandemic pause

  • Lake County jail and College of Lake County officials have resumed adult education programs for inmates. The courses were suspended for about a year because of the pandemic.

    Lake County jail and College of Lake County officials have resumed adult education programs for inmates. The courses were suspended for about a year because of the pandemic. Doug T. Graham, October 2020

 
 
Updated 3/18/2021 6:02 PM

The College of Lake County announced it has resumed Lake County jail adult education courses about a year after the program was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, jail inmates can take CLC courses to help them prepare to get their GED or learn to speak English. In fall 2019, 35 inmates were enrolled. The program was suspended in March 2020.

 

Officials said there is just one CLC class of three inmates in session at the jail currently.

Arlene Santos-George, the dean of adult education and English as a Second Language at CLC, said she is hopeful there will be more students in the future.

"We are there to satisfy the demand," Santos-George said Thursday. "The program has been strong in the past. It doesn't bother us in terms of the cost to support the three students."

Lake County sheriff's Lt. Christopher Covelli said one reason the number of students is currently so low is because the jail population is separated into "pods" as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Only inmates from the same area of the jail can go to the classroom together.

The inmates use jail-provided laptops and equipment to attend their CLC class virtually. The three students are taking GED-prep courses.

Santos-George said it was important for CLC to get jail classes up and running again because one of the institution's focuses is providing equity in education.

"Giving inmates opportunities to better themselves while incarcerated provides them with increased opportunities when released," Sheriff John Idleburg said of the program. "This not only reduces recidivism, but it increases everyone's quality of life."

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