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 almost 600 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 offers a minimum of six courses per year, pairing a unique skill set of bankers’ financial knowledge with Project 180’s strong ties to local correctional institutions. Each eight-hour course is delivered in four sessions with a low instructor-to-student ratio. Our instructors 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
- 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. If you’re a finance industry professional and wish to help teach this course, please contact Barbara Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our volunteers for this program are bank managers, loan officers, and wealth advisors.