Jailhouse and schoolhouse: Education that gave me direction is doing the same for my inmates

As I walk through the Genesee County Jail in Flint, Michigan, the only sound I hear is a new one: the faint tick-tick-tick of computer keyboards. It is the sound of a better way of policing the incarcerated — one that offers an alternative to the violent confrontations that have too often stressed police-community relations.

Inmates in our county jail are among the latest to enroll in a new culture called IGNITE — Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education.

Instead of staring into the void of the crushing monotony of jail time, these men and women are quietly furthering their education. Their faces are buried in Chromebooks provided through the collaboration of the Mt. Morris Education and Community Center as they work to change the trajectory of their lives.