CCA's Bay Correctional Facility held its graduation ceremony today.
A total of 26 inmates received their GED, 87 received vocational certificates and two achieved college course certificates.
Inmate Blane Barber said that the "facility provides me with the opportunity to tap into the tools of success that would otherwise be buried in a less educationally based environment. I am grateful for the prospect of being able to build my intelligence and my chances of thriving in society upon re-entry."
"Bay Correctional Facility is an example of positive rehabilitation," said inmate Sean Bussell. "The educational opportunity provided to me, as an inmate, will no doubt improve my chances of success in society."
The vocational certificates being conferred are in AC, Refrigeration & Heating; Architectural Drafting; Commercial Driving; Culinary Arts; PC Support; and Veterinary Assisting. The college courses that were completed are Personal Fitness Trainer & Nutritional Specialist from the US Career Institute, and Graduate of Theology from the Gulf Coast Bible Institute. Eddie Bell from the State Attorney's Office will provide the commencement address. Many of these graduates also participate in a Toastmasters program, called Gavel Club, which improves self-esteem and instills self-confidence.
CCA's Bay Correctional Facility, in partnership with the State of Florida, offers inmates a variety of educational and vocational programming. GEDs are at the very top of programs that are proven to reduce recidivism, with some independent studies showing as much as a 12 percent reduction. Inmate graduates also have a higher likelihood of finding meaningful, full-time employment upon release, another factor that cuts recidivism rates. In 2012 alone, over 3,000 inmates received their GEDs at a CCA facility.
Information provided by CCA Bay Correctional Facility