© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

University of Kansas program teaches computer skills to women who have been incarcerated

A University of Kansas program is teaching women who have been in jail or prison computer skills.
John Schnobrich
A University of Kansas program is teaching women who have been in jail or prison computer skills.

Extended time behind bars can make it difficult to keep up in the fast-paced digital age. A University of Kansas program received a $1.6 million grant to teach women who have been imprisoned computer skills to prepare them for the workforce and to help reduce recidivism.

The RETURN Project, a program at the University of Kansas, is helping women in Missouri and Kansas who have been incarcerated to learn technical skills that can be applied to their everyday life and in the workforce.

"When I was released in 2019, I had little to no computer skills," said Jodi Whitt, who completed the program and now works as a mentor for other women enrolled in the RETURN Project.

The women learn digital skills ranging from entry level computer skills to more advanced skills like coding.

"[Y]ou can see the confidence building and that's going to help them start to rebuild their lives," Whitt said.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As a producer for Up To Date, my goal is to inform our audience by curating interesting and important conversations with reliable sources and individuals directly affected by a topic or issue. I strive for our program to be a place that hosts impactful conversations, providing our audience with greater knowledge, intrigue, compassion and entertainment. Contact me at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.