6/21/2013 6:00:00 AM Ironwood hosts college graduation ceremony
Photo special to the Times
Ironwood State Prison (ISP) hosted the 2013 Palo Verde Community College Graduation Ceremony on June 5.
Special to the Times
BLYTHE - Ironwood State Prison (ISP) hosted the 2013 Palo Verde Community College Graduation Ceremony on June 5.
ISP hosted the ceremony, which was attended by college faculty, ISP managers and education department staff along with family members of the graduates. The ceremony opened with the posting of colors conducted by the ISP Veteran's Group Color Guard and was lead by Palo Verde College Interim Vice-president, Sheri Jones.
During the ceremony, 39 inmates received Certificates of Career Preparation in the following fields of study: Alcohol and Drug Studies Specialist I and II, Business Studies, Business Literacy and Management Information Systems. Six individuals also received Certificates of Achievement in Business Management. However, the highlight of the ceremony were the graduates who earned a combined total of 48 Associates Degrees, 11 of those with honors in various fields including, math and science, business technology, social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities, business management and general studies.
Thus far, the college program has been a huge success allowing inmates to work toward their goals wherein the participants have earned over 1,200 college degrees. This program, which is a collaborative effort between ISP and Palo Verde College, not only provides an education to these individuals while incarcerated but the hopes that upon release from prison, they will have the tools necessary to reintegrate into society in a positive and productive manner.
Since its inception, this program has helped to greatly reduce the rate of recidivism and re-incarceration for the graduates who have been released thereby providing a lower cost alternative to continued incarceration. In doing so, these individuals leave headed out into the workforce with a foundation from which to build on for their futures.
Warden Dave Long stated, "We are very proud of the success of our college program. I am very grateful for our partnership with Palo Verde Community College. I also appreciate the faculty and staff of ISP's Desert Oasis Adult School, as these accomplishments would not be possible without their support."