How does HopeWorks translate its programs to prison?

One of the cornerstones of HopeWorks’ foundation is second chances. We believe that everyone deserves hope – for their family and their future. We instill these beliefs into our community through our prison ministry. While incarcerated, justice-involved HopeWorks students are able to partake in our Adult Education and Personal and Career Development courses. But what do these programs look like on the inside?

Our Adult Education program allows students to work toward their HiSET, also known as a GED. Obtaining a high school equivalency diploma allows our students to pursue their dreams and build a better future. It’s an open door to their next chapter in life. Students work with our staff and their corrections support professionals to build out a class schedule. Each student will then take a TABE test to assess their current knowledge and determine which academic route will work best. From there, each student begins on a journey tailored to their needs to eventually receive their degree.

After our students receive their HiSET, they’re able to enroll in our Personal and Career Development course, a 10- to 13-week, tuition-free program that teaches the skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce. Students receive 300 hours of classroom instruction and counseling, including 100 hours focusing on how to obtain and maintain a job; 120 hours of exercises and counseling focusing on character development, strengths and skills training, and self-esteem building; and 80 internship hours with one of our employer partners upon release.

Our classrooms inside Shelby County Division of Corrections aren’t very different from our classrooms outside. Every one of our students believe in second chances and are armed with tools to make their dreams a reality.

If you know a justice-involved individual who might be interested in applying for one of our programs, please give us a call at 901-272-3700.