Tuesday, December 10, 2013 3:29 AM
Published on: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
A special reward is in the works for 17 inmates in the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections system who recently proved it’s never too late to get an education.
The inmates, who graduated with their high school diplomas on Aug. 8, will now receive school supplies for their own children to begin the school year.
“WPGC held a back-to-school supply drive at Safeway in Greenbelt, Md., and donated those supplies to the Department of Corrections,” said Yolanda Evans, public information officer at the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections.
The Department of Corrections tests many of the detainees who are committed to facility, and many of them have dropped out of school and read on the fifth-grade level and are on a third-grade math level, Evans said.
“The chaplain is working with the Programs Division to donate the supplies to the children of the inmates who received their high school diploma while incarcerated,” Evans said.
Kenyarda Duran, 36, was among the proud graduates. He said this gift of school supplies will help his children to become successful.
A three-state recidivism study — in Maryland, Minnesota and Ohio and published through a partnership between nonprofit Correctional Education Association and Management & Training Corporation Institute — shows a correlation between education and crime reduction. A University of Maryland evaluation research group studied the effectiveness of 12 continued educational programs in correctional facilities. Researchers discovered the programs “showed promise” in reducing recidivism.
After eight weeks of instruction from educators at the Department of Corrections, the inmates graduated in a ceremony attended by family members and county staff. County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III handed out the honors and delivered an address at the Prince George’s County Jail.
“The question remains for you and for us what do we do with the opportunity we have been given,” Baker said.
The county executive encouraged the graduates to become successful because he said we cannot spare any of them.