Press Release, September 11, 2007

  • GED Offered to Sentenced Female Inmates

         Sheriff C. David Stone announced today that the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the School District of Pickens County have reached an agreement to offer the GED (Graduation Equivalency Diploma) program to sentenced females housed at the Pickens County Detention center.
         The GED program is being taught at the Detention Center by instructors of the Pickens County Adult Education Center.
         The program is offered to female inmates who are being held on Family Court sentences and on criminal sentences less than 91 days. In order to be qualified for this program, the inmate must have dispositions on all of her cases, and she can not have any “hold” placed on her from other agencies. Inmates with sentences of 91 days or more are transferred to the SC Department of Corrections and are not eligible.
         Through several months of planning and preparation, the Sheriff’s Office wanted to give these inmates a way to build their self esteem and assist them in getting their lives pointed in the right direction. Additionally, these females show initiative which could lead to job offers and a more secure future after release.
         In addition to receiving the educational benefits, the inmates also receive one day off of their sentences for each six hours in class. Currently, the classes are being held for 6 hours each week. In the initial class, there were fourteen students in attendance. The Detention Center averages approximately 36 female inmates a day, and approximately 60% of those are sentenced.
         Although this is the first educational program offered to the female inmates, the work release program has been offered for several months. The work release program allows female inmate dot be release from the facility to work on their jobs in the community. This allows a portion of their income to pay for their child support, fines, and expenses for being housed in the jail.
         For further information concerning these programs, contact Lt. Keith Galloway or Capt. Phil Sargent at 864-898-5541 / 5542.