Polk County’s Inmate Educational Program, launched in 2012, has resulted in hundreds of inmates attending GED prep classes and earning their GEDs, becoming CPR certified, and graduating from job readiness schools. The programs are funded by the Inmate Welfare Fund, Polk County Public Schools, and the State Attorney's Office drug education & crime prevention fund; the classes are taught by certified teachers and volunteers. The jail education programs promote confidence and self-esteem, and motivates participants to make life-changing decisions through the development of positive personal goals.
In 2022, 39 Polk County Jail inmates successfully earned their GEDs. The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a group of four subject tests which, when passed, provide certification that the test taker has high school-level academic skills. It is an alternative to a high school diploma.