Five Keys Charter School offers chance to win social redemption

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Western Edition. January 2014
Written by Thomas Figg-Hoblyn

In 2003, Sheriff Michael Hennessey co-founded the Five Keys Charter School within the city’s jail system — FKCS — offering inmates a path toward higher education by obtaining a high school diploma.

FKCS required a state waiver to allow for the enrollment of adults, and it was the first charter school in the nation to operate from inside a county jail.

"At a time when prisons and jails are seen primarily as a place for punishment and retribution, this department takes a longer view and believes that government can do better than blindly releasing thousands of drug addicts and violent men back into society, knowing that new victims await their return,” said Hennessey, who was sheriff from 1980 through 2012.

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