In 2014, Project 180 established a partnership with Cadence Bank in Montgomery, AL to deliver financial literacy courses inside Florida Gulf Coast prisons and jails. This partnership and subsequent collaborations with local financial institutions have since provided over 275 male and female inmates with financial education in three prisons and three jails in five Florida counties: Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee and Hillsborough.

The program, which pairs a unique skill set of bankers’ financial knowledge with Project 180’s strong ties to local correctional institutions, offers a minimum of six courses per year. Each eight-hour course is delivered in four sessions with a low coach-to-student ratio. Our coaches utilize the FDIC Money Smart curriculum supplemented by material from the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Helping Reentrants Become Informed Consumers” program. We address:

  • establishing, repairing and improving one’s credit
  • borrowing and loans
  • budgeting
  • savings and savings vehicles
  • for individuals who have been incarcerated for extended periods of time: how to write a check, balance a checkbook and use an ATM
  • avoiding scams to which reentrants are particularly vulnerable: identity theft, healthcare scams, “you have won” scams, overbilling, phony degrees, and imposter calls

This class is now offered every Thursday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 at the Sarasota County Jail and has a waiting list of over 80 individuals. If you’re a finance industry professional and wish to help teach this course, please contact Barbara Richards at ceo@project180reentry.org. Our volunteers for this program are bank managers, loan officers and wealth advisors.

“Thanks for giving me knowledge for a better life.”

“I appreciate the fact that you both take the time to teach and share knowledge with individuals who are trying to better themselves. “

“The most important thing a person needs when released from prison is to feel hope that you will make it. You all gave me that through the encouragement and info in this class.”

“I learned a lot about what I didn’t know. I’m going to take this home and teach my family so we can all save money and not struggle so hard.”

Project 180. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352), OR VIA THE INTERNET AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. (Registration Number CH27315).
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