Smart time: Charter schools teach jail inmates

Charter schools in jails are helping inmates, reports AP.

The Gordon Bernell Charter School at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque and the Five Keys Charter School in San Francisco have turned their state laws on charter schools into opportunities to grant high school diplomas — rather than GEDs — to jail inmates regardless of their age.

Both charters also teach character and decision-making.

All teachers at Gordon Bernell agreed student discipline was the least of their problems. The school has a zero-tolerance policy, so no drugs, no violence and no gangs, or they’re out of the program.

Among other things, jail is boring. In my newspaper days, I visited a program designed to teach responsible fatherhood to minimum-security inmates, many of whom were in for domestic violence. The men begged the warden for more educational programs.

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