Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Than 200 Inmates Graduate from Folsom State Prison's Greystone Adult School with Academic and Vocational Diplomas

Programs are designed to help offenders succeed upon release, reduce overcrowding and improve public safety

FOLSOM - A total of 235 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) inmates today received diplomas from Folsom State Prison's Greystone Adult School during a commencement ceremony held at the historic prison. Inmates received diplomas for general education development and vocational programs. The graduating vocational program inmates also received their industry standard certifications to show employers they have passed the necessary requirements for employment in one of several trades that include welding, electronics, mill and cabinet, landscaping, janitorial and office services.

“Inmates who leave prison prepared with the right education and skills can make positive contributions to the community. Giving inmates the tools they need to succeed upon release will reduce recidivism, and improve public safety,” said Marisela Montes, CDCR Chief Deputy Secretary for Adult Programs. “Implementing the Governor’s reforms to reduce overcrowding will create much needed space to expand valuable rehabilitation programs like these that will impact inmates’ lives. Strategies to reduce recidivism provide enormous public safety benefits and are key components of the Governor’s vision for long-term reform.”


The proud graduates wore caps and gowns over their usual prison clothing. Warden Kramer addressed the group with friends, families, Greystone faculty and staff, corrections administrators and community guests on hand to celebrate the hard work and academic achievements of the incarcerated students. Fifty-seven inmates earned GED diplomas, another 80 inmates earned vocational certificates, and 98 inmates graduated in absentia because they either paroled or transferred to other prison facilities. Fourteen inmates were recognizes as honor students.

“The true measure of this program’s success will be whether we see these inmates come back through our gates after they are released,” said Warden Kramer. “We can teach a man life skills, but only he can choose to change his life. I am optimistic that for many of these men this achievement is just the first step down a road toward a crime-free life as self-sufficient and productive residents of this great state."

View Pictures