12/01/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/02/2017 01:10
1 DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE ROOM 456, CITY HALL
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94102
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Nancy Crowley December 1, 2017 415-554-7225
San Francisco, December 1, 2017 -- A groundbreaking program which brings college opportunities to San Francisco County jail inmates is set to expand.
City College of San Francisco (CCSF) will increase the number of units and breadth of classes it offers to incarcerated students from six semester units to nine, giving San Francisco County prisoners more chances to acquire a college education while in custody.
Since 2012, CCSF has partnered with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department and the award-winning Five Keys Charter School to offer prisoners access to college education. What began as a pilot program offering ½ and one unit classes has touched more than 400 San Francisco County Jail inmates, seeking to improve their opportunities through education once they are released from jail.
On Monday, December 4, at 10 am, CCSF's Chancellor Dr. Mark Rocha, San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and Five Keys Charter School Executive Director Steve Good will sign a Memorandum of Understanding marking the in-custody college expansion. The ceremony will take place at CCSF's main campus, 50 Phelan Avenue, in the Multi-Purpose Building, Room 140 (MUB 140).
"Research shows that inmates in college programs have 51 percent lower odds of reoffending than those who are not pursuing their education," says Chancellor Rocha. "We are proud to play a role in breaking the cycle of incarceration."
In 2012, Five Keys Charter School, which operates inside the county jails providing a range of education program and services, worked with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department to bring City College into the jails. "We could not offer college to our inmates without Five Keys leadership and the support and participation of our dedicated deputies, supervisors, command staff and non-sworn colleagues," says Sheriff Vicki Hennessy.
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department founded Five Keys in 2003 as the first charter school to operate inside of a county jail. Fourteen years later, Five Keys is a nationally recognized education management (nonprofit) corporation, which operates accredited charter schools and programs for Transitional Age Youth (TAY) and adults at 70 locations across California.
In 2016, Berkeley-based Opportunity Institute awarded Five Keys a grant to develop a model for building links from high school to college for inmates in custody and to offer them college courses and pathways that can be continued on the college campus when students are released.
"At least 22,000 California inmates had verified high school diplomas or the equivalent in 2014, yet only 6,300 incarcerated students were enrolled in college classes," says Five Keys' Good. "We aim to change this number through our partnership with CCSF and other institutions, and transform inmate lives for the better through access to higher education."
Led by elected Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department serves the people of San Francisco by administering the county jails, providing security for the Superior Court and other high- profile public buildings, and performing civil court orders.