Inmates Graduating, Earning Credits For High School Diplomas

Modified: March 20, 2017 3:07pm


A total of 208 inmates enrolled in Buffalo School/Sheriff’s Office High School Program


Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces that the partnership between his office and the Buffalo Public Schools continues to serve high school age and other inmates while housed at the Erie County Holding Center.


The high school program inside the Erie County Holding Center is a collaborative effort by the Sheriff's Office, the Buffalo Public Schools’ Adult Education division, and the Buffalo Schools Title 1 department.  The program established a public high school within the holding center to allow inmates to continue or complete courses necessary to earn a high school diploma. 


Although the high school diploma is the main focus of the programming for minors, it is also an alternate path for students who are considered over-age and under-credited.  In the 2015-2016 school year, Buffalo Public Schools and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office served 208 students where 94 inmates were 16 years old, and 83 inmates were 17 years old.  During that time, one inmate earned their high school diploma, 141 individuals returned to school earning credits during their incarceration, 25 individuals returned to school and earned a high school diploma and 1 person enrolled into college.  Additionally, 17 people enrolled in a High School Equivalency program upon their release, 3 individuals enrolled in job training programs and 10 people from the school program obtained employment. 


This program was developed four years ago, when the Buffalo school district worked with Sheriff Howard and the Jail Management staff to establish a high school in the Erie County Holding Center.  In the program, students receive core high school subject instruction, special education services, guidance counseling, Title I math and reading services, and summer programming.  As soon as students enter the program, they begin to plan for post-release and Title I Transition Counselors meet with each student to establish an educational plan for the entire time they spend at the holding center, as well as a plan for when they are released.  Participating students leave the Erie County Holding Center with an education, links to specialized services, and a plan for the future.