Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Than 100 Juvenile Offender Students Honored in Graduation Ceremony at Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino at Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

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

CHINO – A total of 53 Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) wards walked and received their degrees, diplomas and certificates before family members in a graduation ceremony conducted today from Lyle Egan High School, within the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility. So far in 2007, nearly 100 wards attending Lyle Egan High School have gotten AA degrees, high school diplomas and GEDs certificates.

The ceremony itself lasted about an hour, followed by a reception hosted by the school for the graduates and family members who had traveled to the event. In many cases, these graduates are the first in their family to have earned a degree or GED certificate. Today, students graduated with two Associate of Arts degrees from the University of LaVerne, 31 High School Diplomas from Lyle Egan High School, and 20 GED certificates.

“Attaining a high school diploma or vocational trade can help set the stage for success for youthful offenders when they return to the community,” said Bernard Warner, Chief Deputy Secretary of Juvenile Justice. “In custody educational programs provide skills that will open doors for these youth in their future, and help to keep them from revolving in and out of prison as adults. They are part of the state’s broader commitment to reducing recidivism and increasing public safety through rehabilitation.”

Heman G. Stark Superintendent Ramon Martinez praised the focus and resilience of the students honored today, noting the significance of this achievement.

“This graduation ceremony represents a first step for these young adults who have attained college degrees, high school diplomas, and GED’s,” said Martinez. “It is my hope that these young adults will continue to strive to better themselves from this point forward, and take advantage of these opportunities to become productive members of their home communities.”

Lyle Egan High School is one of eight high schools administered by the California Education Authority of the DJJ. In addition to meeting the state standards and academic requirements, all students graduating from DJJ facilities must also earn a minimum of ten character education credits in courses that address such areas as impact of crime on victims, financial planning, parenting, and employability in order to graduate.

####