Recently 57 inmates from Centinela State Prison graduated with either a GED or a certificate in vocational training. More than 200 inmates are expected to graduate over the next four weeks.

Some of the recent Centinela graduates display their certificates.

Twenty-eight of those inmates received their GED, the California High School Equivalency Certificate test that measures proficiency in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.

The remaining graduates received certificates for completing vocational trade classes, such as small engine repair, auto mechanics, auto body and paint, building maintenance and office services and related technology.

“We believe that an education and job skills are vital for an inmate who is looking to build a more constructive life when they return to their communities,” said Amy Miller, Acting Warden of Centinela State Prison. She also said that 211 inmates will be graduating from educational and vocational training classes over the next four weeks.

A total of 1,016 Centinela inmates are currently enrolled in vocational or academic classes, said Derrick Turner, Supervisor of Academic Instruction.

In addition to potentially making communities safer by reducing recidivism, the education or vocational achievements are a mark of personal success for each inmate, said Miller, who noted that family members will be attending a ceremony to share the inmates’ successes.

Statewide, inmate enrollment has increased by 7,000 to 31,734 inmates in academic programs since September, 2012, after the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation opened 88 new classes in its 33 prisons with a renewed emphasis on rehabilitation.

Enrollment in vocational training has increased to 3,903, with more programs scheduled to begin by mid-year 2013.