Inmate Education Branches Into Banking

By CapeCodToday.com  Photo courtesy Barnstable County Correctional Facility

In a effort to help make a better transition to life outside the bars, the Barnstable County Correctional Facility (BCCF) offers re-entry skills courses for inmates.  Among those classes is a financial literacy class taught by Patricia Walsh and Kathy Moorey of Cape Cod Five.

"Having financially savvy citizens is a benefit not just to banks, but to the whole community," said Walsh.

The local bankers taught two classes at the jail early this week--a men's class with 54 attendees in the morning, and a women's class for 30 attendees in the afternoon. All attendees are sentenced inmates and therefore eligible for the class, according to a BCCF release. Those inmates awaiting trial are not eligible.

Walsh, VP of Training and Development and Moorey, CC5 Financial Officer, taught inmates about a variety of banking topics including saving and budgeting, rebuilding good credit and securing a good relationship with a bank.

"The questions and conversations have been coming fast and furious," said Moorey. "It's been a great experience so far."

BCCF courses are intended to teach inmates what to do to avoiding landing back behind bars, according to Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings.  "Money and banking is part of the equation," said the sheriff.

Inmates at the facility are offered a variety of educational opportunities according to the sheriff's website, including adult basic education and GED courses. The GED exam is also offered at BCCF several times a year.

Studies show that inmates with access to educational and vocational programs have a lower rate of recidivism. This year, the non-profit Rand Corporation conducted a study that showed such inmates have a 43% lower rate of re-offending and being sent back to jail.

(First published by CapeCodToday.com and used here by permission)