NSA's I.G.N.I.T.E. partnership with Colour Bank prepares inmates for release, improves jails safety

Inmates can access courses, jobs, or credits toward a GED, take part in virtual reality to learn a skilled trade job, or take enrichment courses to hone their interests


By Corrections1 Staff

Alexandria, Va. — The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) has announced 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 nationwide 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.  

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

“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. 

“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.”  

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, Va., with additional locations to be announced.

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