NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Those incarcerated by the Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff’s Office will have increased educational opportunities thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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The sheriff’s office announced Tuesday it received $800,000 in grant funding from the labor department for new instructors and a student liaison position over the next four years. Additionally, the funding will be used to provide laptops and other equipment necessary for improved virtual courses and, ultimately, educational success for “justice-involved individuals.”

“We have spent years building a foundation of helping inmates be better upon release than when they first came to jail,” said Sheriff Daron Hall. “Many have never accomplished any goal, or had any belief they could. Ensuring individuals have a high school equivalency diploma, in conjunction with other technological and vocational skills, gives them confidence they can achieve an improved quality of life once on the outside of a correctional institution.”

Hall said providing opportunities for hose incarcerated has always been an important aspect to his office’s programming. Modernizing the curriculum and how justice-involved are educated is key, according to the sheriff. Integrated Education and Training (IET) is a model combining occupational skills training with adult education to increase both educational and career advancement. Specifically, IET includes HiSET, computer skills, an entrepreneurial training series, parenting courses and basic work skills, among others.

“Today, we average approximately 350 monthly participants in these education/training courses and have set a goal of increasing by nearly 50 percent,” Hall said. “Our staff is dedicated to arresting the problem, and this is another step in that direction.”