Amicus lector
Can high school students take classes in jail?

Trevor  Kruthoff and Brian David Anderson are each charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jordan LeBeau earlier this month.

They’re also Watertown High School seniors. Or at least they were until they were taken into custody.

At this point, classes are on hold.

That’s because they’re charged as adults and being held at an adult facility. Detainees at the Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention Center attend class every day, but as you might suspect, there are no classrooms at the county jail.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead suspects the two will be able to complete some of their school work through independent study, but the details haven’t been sorted out yet.

“We’re open to the possibility of allowing them to continue some of their studies,” Milstead said.

Even if Kruthoff and Anderson were doing schoolwork, they wouldn’t be doing it together. Adult and juvenile inmates must be held separately in adult jails, even if the adult and juvenile were in the same classroom together a month before they got there.

The jail has offered General Educational Development (GED) courses in the past, but even those are on hold. The GED program requirements underwent a series of changes recently, and the testing will now require Internet access.

The jail isn’t set up for that.

Milstead hopes to get the program up and running again soon, but the reality is that GED classes at the jail are more useful for inmates who were already doing the work. Most inmates aren’t around long enough to finish up.

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