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Sheriff John Cottle is working with State Technical College of Missouri’s Grant Team to help reduce the rate of recidivism in Lincoln County. Inmates within the Lincoln County Jail now have the ability to gain meaningful employment after incarceration. State Technical College of Missouri received multiple federal grants to help with job placement and are working with county inmates in that endeavor.

Using the WorkKeys Exam, successful completers will be awarded the National Career Readiness Certificate. This will certify inmates with essential workplace skills that are critical for success.

Grant faculty and staff with State Technical College of Missouri tested both male and female inmates to determine job skills associated with workplace success. Test outcomes measures knowledge and skills related to work performance. “This is truly a state of the art program that provides actual certified credentialing in critical thinking skills, problem solving, reading and writing, and mathematical reasoning necessary for today’s job market,” said Sheriff John Cottle.

“Inmates can earn a certificate based on their test scores, which shows they are ready to reenter the workforce with skills employers are looking for,” said Cottle. According to the Sheriff’s Office, inmates are less likely to return to the county jail if they have meaningful employment with a future.

Lincoln County is the first Sheriff’s Office to work with State Technical College Grants for inmate testing and employment placement in Missouri. “The whole goal is to get an inmate’s life back on track and reverse their destructive behavior,” said Sheriff Cottle.

Sheriff Cottle says he will continue the partnership with grant program coordinators to give inmates an opportunity to turn their life around. This initiative launches of a strong training partnership between Lincoln County and State Technical College of Missouri. Future plans include building a road sign manufacturing facility to help inmates learn new skills, reduce the tax burden and earn additional income for the county.


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