Jelly Roll Hands Out Diplomas, Sings For Inmates At Michigan Jail

Rachael Hunter, WYCD

Inmates at the Genesee County Jail had a very special guest for their commencement ceremony.     

Jelly Roll visited the Genesee County Jail in Flint, Michigan on Tuesday (Dec 5) to recognize inmates who graduated from the IGNITE program. I.G.N.I.T.E., which stands for Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education, aims to educate and provide jail inmates with job training so they can get employment after their release. 

In a video posted to social media on Monday, Sheriff Christopher Swanson shared the exciting news: 

“Jelly Roll is coming to Flint. It is going to be an IGNITE celebration within the confines of the jail. It’s going to be a historic moment.” 

Swanson said he worked for six months to make the appearance happen and the visit represents what the IGNITE program’s enrollees can achieve. Jelly Roll, who was incarcerated as a teen, received an education but never got a formal graduation ceremony afterward. During the commencement, 23 Genesee County Jail inmates graduated with GEDs, barber certifications, and welding certifications. 

Jelly Roll sings “Need a Favor” for inmates and graduates.        

During the commencement ceremony, which was closed to the public, Jelly Roll treated the inmates and staff to a few songs including his hit “Need A Favor.” The crowd can be heard singing along enthusiastically. 

Rachael Hunter, a local radio personality for WYCD was in attendance and afterwards shared a video captioned: 

“Today was one of the coolest experiences of my career. Watching Jelly Roll give a motivational speech to inmates at the Genesee County Jail, help hand out diplomas to those who graduated and got their GED then sing some songs. He even got a haircut from the barbershop program at the jail. So grateful to be able to experience this.”

Jelly Roll has a heart for at-risk youth.   

Jelly Roll makes it a habit of helping those in need. In 2022, he used his sold-out show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to raise $250,000 to care for incarcerated youth at Nashville’s Davidson County Detention Center – the very same facility where he spent some time as a teen.

This year, Jelly Roll partnered with Live Nation to donate one dollar from every ticket sold from his Backroads Baptism Tour to local at-risk youth. In the end, a total of $590,000 was raised

See the clip of Jelly Roll singing “Need A Favor” at the Genessee County Jail commencement ceremony below!