Cook County Detainees Earn College Credit With Education Program

Inside Out places detainees and DePaul students in the same learning environment as they work to complete the same courses.

11.25.23
Cook County Detainees Earn College Credit With Education Program (Getty Images)

ChicagoFor the past 12 years, detainees at Cook County Jail have been able to take college courses for credit through a program called Inside Out as part of a partnership with DePaul University. The program places the detainees and DePaul students in the same learning environment as they work to complete the same courses.

It’s also afforded individuals from seemingly different worlds the opportunity to understand each other.

"I grew up with my dad working as a federal prosecutor," Quincy Hayes, a senior at DePaul, told Fox. "I wanted to look and get experience in it with a look at the other side."

The experience is just as eye-opening for the detainees. Adam Flores, who has been detained in Cook County Jail for almost a year, told the news outlet that being around other students has not only been an empowering experience but an inspiring one. 

"Having the college students rely on us for certain problems, it let me know I still got it in the classroom," Flores said.

In addition to fostering a sense of unity between people from different backgrounds, the program has also come as a way to reduce recidivism, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told Fox.

"With that educational component, it also shows people staying in jobs longer, being able to access jobs as well."

Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on X: @noahwritestoo.

Edited by NaTyshca Pickett

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