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Recently Kimberly Herring, Linn County Jail administrator, applied for a grant at the University of Kansas for a new program she hoped to begin for inmates at the jail who are involved in child in need of care cases (CINC).

Herring collaborated with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) in hopes of beginning a program where an individual can work on the required classes from the jail to succeed in completing the requirements while in custody and keep their CINC case moving forward. DCF pointed Herring in the direction of the University of Kansas where they have a program called “Our Tomorrow – Action Lab.” This is a program that awards grants to help start programs in Kansas that will benefit children and families. 

So Herring applied for the grant and explained her vision to them of creating the ability for incarcerated parents having access to DCF in order to allow them to take the classes necessary to reintegrate with their children.

“I have inmates come into the jail in the middle of CINC cases,” said Herring, “and once they’re in there they’re stalled because they can’t access the classes or attend the meetings that DCF requires them to do.”

“To me that’s not fair,” she continued. “I don’t want the child involved in these cases to be out of the parent’s care any longer than they have to be.”

Herring’s program would acquire a laptop computer that inmates could use in a controlled environment to access DCF for the classes and meetings they are required to attend remotely.

“The computer would only be able to access DCF and Zoom for meetings, not any other programs,” she explained, “so they can complete the tasks they need to and be reunited with their child upon release.”

Herring plans to purchase new computers once the Justice Center is opened and in use so that several inmates can utilize the program at the same time.

 

To see the full article, check out this week's edition of the Linn County News or check out the online version here

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