Commissioner: Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: Joan Heath
More than Fifty Offenders Graduate from GED Program
FORSYTH, Ga. -- On December 15, fifty-one offenders from CoreCivic’s Wheeler Correctional Facility, graduated from the General Education Diploma (GED) program. The facility partners with Oconee Fall Line Technical College in Sandersville, Georgia to provide monthly test administration. Six academic teachers are employed by the facility to provide daily instruction. The GED program provides educational services to offenders who did not complete their high school education prior to incarceration. Students must pass tests in four basic subject areas: Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies.
“Our goal is to ensure that offenders can use the skills they learned and education they received in the GED program to find better paying jobs once they are released and decrease their chances of reentry,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “These men studied hard to make it to graduation and we are very proud of each of them.”
During the ceremony there were comments from Brad Lofton, the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority President, and Donovan Hamilton, the Assistant Warden of Programs at Wheeler Correctional Facility.
“I kept failing Social Studies but the staff kept inspiring me to do my best and keep pushing,” said student Coderris Johnson. “I think I’m the only one of my siblings with some type of education. It’s going to help me with my future so I can do better. Now I can get a job and do what I’m supposed to do.”
Reentry is a core commitment for both CoreCivic and the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC). Research shows that offenders who receive education while incarcerated are 43% less likely to return to prison. The GED program is a high priority of the Governor’s Education Initiative and the Georgia Department of Corrections as part of the Criminal Justice Reform Act for all state prisoners.
“I started with a sixth grade education and graduated college ready in six weeks,” said student Travis McElroy. “I’d like to see other people feel the way I feel. It’s a great feeling to be able to accomplish something that seemed to be impossible. It gives you real hope for the future.”
The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.
For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov.