Albany County hopes to lower crime rates with GED program

The Albany County Probation Department hopes to reduce crime rates by giving people an education.

According to the department, there are currently more than 300 people on probation who do not have a GED or high school diploma. Earlier this year, the ministry partnered with Capital Region BOCES to create a GED program. To date, ten people have signed up.

What do you want to know

  • Albany County says more than 300 probationers don’t have a GED or high school education
  • The GED program is a partnership between the Albany County Probation Department and the Capital Region BOCES
  • A dozen people are currently registered

“Granted, no one expected to have a classroom in a probation service, but here we are. We had so many interested people. We have so many referrals that have come in,” says Kristin McCabe, a probation supervisor.

Dawn Do enrolled in the program during the winter. On probation for her third CFA, Do says she is now sober.

“The last one is what made me quit drinking. I was either going to go home and kill myself or stay in jail and get sober, and that’s what happened,” Do explains.

Do aspires to become a therapist. She has been taking the course for about a month and has already seen improvement. While she has tried to study for the test in the past, this is the first time it has stuck.

According to the Probation Service, this is exactly the type of program that can lead to significant life changes.

“She’s a person, and for her to have that success, it’s just good to see someone feel good about themselves and their accomplishments,” McCabe says.

“It makes me feel bigger, not smaller, when I used to feel very small, and now I see that I’m going to be able to do something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Do says.

Students in the program meet twice a week and are tested before taking their GED exam.

Ryan H. Bowman