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Originally presented April 14, 2021

Members of the Correctional Workforce have long agreed that educational programs have a significant impact on recidivism rates. However, educational rehabilitation is concentrated at the State Prison level. Local jails must rely on local funding to provide rehabilitation and educational resources to their inmates, and most rural areas cannot afford to fund resources of this type.

The Cherokee Regional Library believes that this is too late into the lives of these inmates. Educational resources are needed at the local jail level, when incarceration periods are short and there is a higher chance for these individuals to remake their lives, and prevent a lifetime of incarceration and separation from families.

Assistant Director Chelsea Kovalevskiy describes the Next Chapter Program—a partnership between the Dade County branch of the Cherokee Regional Library and the Dade County Jail. This digital literacy and life skills program uses the Niche Academy platform to track inmate participation and completion data. Learn how your library can utilize this program, or create your own, to make a life-changing impact to one of the most vulnerable populations within your community.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services LG-28-19-0238.

Click below to experience this webinar as a tutorial. When you continue past the introduction to the webinar, you'll be prompted to log in. We require login to view the whole tutorial so we can provide certificates of completion for your records and for professional development credit. No purchase is required and you can create a Niche Academy account if you don't already have one. The certificate will be available for download when you have completed all sections of the tutorial.  


Click the link below to download the presentation slides:
Next Chapter: Partnering with Local Jails to Decrease Recidivism

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Chelsea Kovalevskiy

Chelsea Kovalevskiy is the Assistant Director of the Cherokee Regional Library System, recently named 2020 Georgia Library of the Year. Though a small rural library system, Cherokee Regional has proven that even the smallest of libraries can use their resources to make huge impacts on the community. Ms. Kovalevskiy serves many roles, including digital content creation and grant project management for the system. She has presented at Association for Rural and Small Libraries, and the Georgia Public Library System for her work with grassroots marketing. She serves on several local boards, including the local Downtown Development Authority. She believes that public libraries are uniquely situated to provide local solutions to community needs.