By Lt. Phil Messerli, Administrative Assistant/PIO

Ironwood State Prison (ISP) hosted this month the 2013 Palo Verde Community College Graduation Ceremony, making the continued success of a program in which participants have earned more than 1,200 college degrees.

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.”

During the ceremony, 39 inmates received Certificates of Career Preparation.

Inmates received certificates in the following fields: 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.

The highlight of the ceremony were the  graduates who earned a combined 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.

Participants in the College Program have earned more than 1,200 college degrees. This program is a collaborative effort between ISP and Palo Verde College.

The program 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.

The event at ISP 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 as lead by Palo Verde College Interim Vice President Sheri Jones.

Palo Verde College Graduation Ceremony 002

These are the latest graduates from an Ironwood State Prison education program that has allowed participants to earn more than 1,200 college degrees.