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IGNITE program expands beyond Genesee County Jail

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -(04/16/21)-Since being launched inside the Genesee County Jail last September-- the IGNITE program has lifted dozens of inmates to new heights in their efforts to rebuild their lives for a brighter future.

“We’ve seen a huge transformation in the jail of recent and right now, today, we have 390 people that are enrolled one way or another in the IGNITE program,” said Captain Jason Gould.

The success of IGNITE, which aims to break the cycle of generational incarceration negatively affecting families and communities, has led to an expansion the program beyond the walls of the jail.

“One of the things that we want to do is have a true wraparound because we know that 90 percent of the people are let out and on the streets. But bigger than that, we are looking at the community and how many that have felonies on their record. How can we impact them? And the wraparound just made sense,” said Ambassador Johnell Allen-Bey.

“Cosmetology school, we are talking about a barber school. We are talking about quality tech. There’s so many things that will be happening here at this location,” Allen- Bey said.

One of the goals of the expansion is to give people options.

" We understand that it is necessary to have the most appropriate training that’s broad based for everyone. Not everyone wants to be a welder. Not everyone wants to be an electrician. We want to offer a variety of things, a variety of tools. A variety of opportunities to build yourself professionally,” said Ambassador Percy Glover)

Pastor Ronnie Wiggins- working in partnership with the Sheriff’s department-- to expand the program inside the building that is home to his ministry, says they will focus on more than just inmates learning a trade.

“We have classes that will be here that relates to developing your potential . They’ll be some AA classes here and some other wraparound services that are related to counseling,” said Pastor Ronnie Wiggins.

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