“Montgomery College is already a very diverse population, but entering into this relationship with the correctional facility has allowed us to reach every member of the community who needs education,” said Nancy Newton, Director of Special Programs, Montgomery College. “Just because you’re incarcerated doesn’t mean your education should stop.”
Nearly 60 Montgomery College students double as inmates in Boyds.
MCCF holds more than 1,000 male and female offenders in a pre-trial phase or serving a sentence up to one and a half years.
“Of the population’s participation, definitely, we’ve seen an increase and excitement for participating in classes,” said Franklin Moore, Program Director, Montgomery College.
Inmates hand-pick their courses — from studying computers and food safety to following a path to a GED.
More certification and credit courses are on the horizon.
“It lets them know that they are not alone when they’re released,” said Newton. “Just because their education ends at college, their relationship will hopefully continue with those actually in the community as well.”
MCCF devotes $300,000 of its annual budget to maintaining its relationship with Montgomery College, which is where part of the controversy comes into play.
Some people take issue with spending taxpayers’ money on educating alleged criminals, but Newton said the payback for the entire community is worth it.
“We want to reduce the chance of recidivism, and if we can do that in part through education and a relationship with MCCF, then we can only see benefits for everybody involved but most importantly for the learners,” said Newton.