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The HCSO H.O.P.E. Program



At the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, we believe in hope. We also believe that, used correctly, our jail can be a tool of reform. It is in this spirit that Sheriff David P. Hutchinson created HCSO H.O.P.E. Program. H.O.P.E. stands for “Helping Others by Providing Education.”


The goal of this program is to help achieve Sheriff Hutchinson’s vision of breaking the cycle of incarceration by helping inmates create better opportunities for themselves. To do so, the HCSO H.O.P.E. Program provides inmates with education and training classes while incarcerated to help them develop the skills they need to be successful once they return to their community. These classes include formal education options such as G.E.D programs, life skills classes like financial literacy, and vocational training.


Once released from our facility, participants in HCSO H.O.P.E. Program are matched with community resources to help them continue their education and/or skill development. Our agency is partnering with a variety of government agencies, non-profits, and private partners to help ensure that those who join our program remain on a path towards a better future. 


Program offerings

The HCSO H.O.P.E. Program currently offers three categories of classes, available to all inmates in the Direct Supervision housing units. The next phase of the program will expand these offerings to the inmates in the City Hall housing areas. 


  • High school diploma
  • G.E.D.

Adult enrichment classes

  • Financial literacy
  • Virtual reality trade skills training
  • Employment preparation
  • Voter education 

Community support services

  • Chemical dependency programs
  • Trade skills and manufacturing instruction
  • Second-chance employers training 

How the program works

Classes are offered two hours per day per housing unit, Monday through Friday. During class time, no other activities are available in order to encourage participation. In addition to the benefits they gain from the classes themselves, inmates who participate earn access to tablets after class.


Once a participant in HCSO H.O.P.E. Program has been released from our facility, program staff will provide them with information and access to Community Support Services to continue their development. We strongly believe that this culture change in our facility and beyond will yield positive impacts in our community and ultimately reduce recidivism.