MAYVILLE, N.Y. (WJET/WFXP/ — Sherriff James Quattrone of the Chautauqua County Sherrif’s Office announced a new jail program on Tuesday that is meant to better prepare inmates for their release.

The I.G.N.I.T.E. program, which stands for Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education, aims to educate and enrich inmates with classes that they can utilize to get a job.

Those who participate in the program attend two-hour-long classes, five days a week. Inmates have access to a wide variety of courses, ranging from earning credits to receive their GED to skills they can utilize at a trade job.

“We believe that every individual has the capacity for change and growth. By providing inmates with opportunities for education, skills development and personal reflection, we aim to break the cycle of reoffending and offer a path to a more promising future,” said Quattrone.

The program started in Genesee County, Michigan under the leadership of Sherrif Chris Swanson. It is now utilized in seven different county jails across the country.

Since its public launch, the program has enrolled thousands of students who have completed more than 200,000 classroom hours, logged more than 20,000 hours of coursework and
participated in more than 700 standardized tests.

“We are excited that Sheriff Quattrone is taking on this important initiative,” said the National Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jonathan Thompson. “IGNITE makes it clear that sheriffs’ offices across the country are sending individuals in their jails back to their communities more equipped to lead productive lives.”

For more information on how the program will be integrated into the Chautauqua County Jail, you can watch the press conference on the Chautauqua County Government YouTube channel.