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College of Lake County resumes Adult Ed classes at Lake County Jail

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 17, 2021

Inmates at the Lake County Sheriff’s Adult Corrections Facility can return to their education virtually while incarcerated. College of Lake County’s (CLC) Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education and English as Second Language (ABE/ASE/ESL) classes have resumed after a pause during the pandemic. 

“A criminal charge is not a life-long sentence,” said Warren Thomas, student success coordinator for community education at CLC. “Inmates have the opportunity to change their path with education, training and forgiveness. Our classes offer a second chance through unbiased education to underrepresented members of our community.” 

Since March of 2020, inmate education programs through the college ceased at the Lake County Jail due to increased health and security procedures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the leadership of Sheriff John D. Idleburg and with the support of Lake County Jail leadership, including Inmate Program Manager Zashariya Wright, Chief of Corrections John Idleburg Patrick Firman, CLC Adult Ed Enrollment Specialist Jorge Gonzalez and the Lake County Jail IT Department, CLC’s Adult Education and ESL division developed plans following the latest safety guidelines. CLC serves approximately 100 inmates on an annual basis.  

Wright says, “This education will help the students upon their release and return to society. These classes give hope for their future. We want to bring more classes with substance, future and hope to these often forgotten members of our society.” 

Virtual classes began in March 2021 for inmates seeking to complete their High School Equivalency. The two groups will continue to work together to safely provide additional educational opportunities to the Lake County Jail students. CLC strives to provide equitable education to underrepresented members of the community through partnerships, like this one.  

CLC’s Adult Education and ESL division provides meaningful learning experiences to support the educational and career dreams of the college’s diverse student population. The division helps each student to be a successful and responsible member of the community by empowering them with the tools necessary to thrive now and in the future. For more information, please call 847-543-2024. 

About College of Lake County: 

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation. Learn more at or call (847) 543-2000.