National Sheriffs’ Association Announces I.G.N.I.T.E. Partnership with Colour Bank

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Alexandria, VA – The National Sheriffs’ Association announced today a partnership with neo bank, “Colour,” that will work to advance the Association’s I.G.N.I.T.E. (Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education) program, a nation-wide jail initiative that prepares inmates for release and helps make jails safer.

The program started in Genesee County, Mich., under the leadership of Sheriff Chris Swanson. Inmates enrolled in I.G.N.I.T.E. spend two hours a day, five days a week in class. They can access courses, jobs or credits toward a GED, take part in virtual reality to learn a skilled trade job, or take enrichment courses in everything from American Sign Language to financial literacy, which will help them hone their interests and work toward employment after graduation.

Image credit: Genesee County Sheriff's Office

Since its public launch, the program has enrolled more than two thousand students and has had 19 graduating clasess.

“Sheriffs want to be the catalyst for change in America’s jails; I.G.N.I.T.E is doing just that, and Colour Bank can help us take it to the next level,” said NSA Executive Director Jonathan Thompson. He continued, “We are so proud and grateful to have them as a partner.”

“One of Colour’s founding pillars is financial inclusion and literacy as a pathway to success and personal fulfillment,” said Colour CEO Aldwyne Wayne. “The I.G.N.I.T.E program aligns with that pillar and provides an opportunity for incarcerated men and women to be successful beyond their release and to make their dreams for better, more fulfilling lives possible.”

International recording artist and Colour Bank Director Orville Richard Burrell, better known as Shaggy, also expressed support for the I.G.N.I.T.E. program. “I’m so proud to be associated with such a forward-looking and innovative program,” he said. “This program shows people that their lives have value, that we care about them, and they can succeed and lead positive lives.”

“A big thanks and appreciation to Colour Bank for supporting this transformational, life-affirming program that is providing hope and changing lives,” said Sheriff Swanson. “With the bank’s help, we can eliminate generational incarceration by restoring value, hope, and purpose to those in our nation’s jails.”

I.G.N.I.T.E. has also launched in Hennepin County, Minn., Ingham County, Mich., Mecklenburg County, N.C., Cass County, N.D. and Roanoke, V.A., and in the coming months will expand to include:

  • Sandusky County, O.H. (launches Winter 2022)
  • Collin County, T.X. (launches Winter 2022)

Colour Bank:
Colour is a Neo Bank with a focused on driving financial inclusion for the urban culture by providing banking and financial solutions that meet the community at its point of need. The goal is simple: provide products that fix urban problems.

I.G.N.I.T.E. is a mechanism for breaking the trend of generational incarceration throughout the country, while establishing education and rehabilitation as two main points of focus for the jail.

About The National Sherriff’s Association:
The National Sheriffs’ Association is one of the largest non-profit associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and with a total membership of approximately 14,000 individuals. NSA is dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice. Throughout its eighty-one-year history, NSA has also served as an information resource for all law enforcement, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies.