By CN Staff
MIAMI—The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has highlighted the graduation of 18 incarcerated individuals through a partnership with Miami Dade College (MDC). The graduation ceremony was held July 26 at Everglades Correctional Institution (CI) in Miami. Students graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. The program was a great success with participants earning an average GPA of 3.75.
“Providing inmates education opportunities plays a major role in their success when they leave our custody and rejoin the community,” said Deputy Secretary Richard Comerford. “Research shows that postsecondary education can reduce recidivism and increase employability and earnings for returning citizens. I commend this group of students for their commitment to this program and for the officers, staff and educators at Miami Dade College who assisted in their tremendous success.”
Through a variety of instructional platforms to include face-to-face, virtual, and online learning platforms, FDC is expanding high-quality educational opportunities to individuals in custody. The experience of this graduating class was unique as they were the first cohort to obtain this degree through MDC. Of the 67 colleges and 120 institutions selected nationwide for the initial pilot, the Miami Dade College Second Chance Pell Program at Everglades CI was an ideal program site in Miami.
FDC has six college programs located at correctional institutions statewide, with two more to be added in future semesters. With the recent expansion of Pell Grant funding, FDC looks forward to working with more college and university partners interested in participating in this unique opportunity.
As Florida’s largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates 80,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.