The sheriff's office in Deschutes County is expanding a program that gives inmates at the county jail the opportunity to earn a GED.
Capt. Michael Espinoza with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office said that although the county had long offered GED tutorial services to inmates, it only started administering the tests two months ago.
Espinoza said the latest expansion will extend testing services to inmates who participate in tutorial services, but are released before they can take the test.
"We want to be proactive in our approach to the criminal justice system and public safety," Espinoza said. "It's one thing to provide space to incarcerate inmates but we also believe that while they're with us we want to make an impact."
Espinoza said that in order to be admitted to the program, inmates need to demonstrate both good conduct and initiative. He said five inmates have earned their GEDs since September. He estimates the expanded program will cost about the Sheriff's Office about $15,000 a year.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.