By Lt. Gregory R. Bergersen, Administrative Assistant/PIO

Valley State Prison recently graduated its first all-male class of inmates.

Valley State Prison (VSP) converted to a male facility in January after having been a female facility since 1995. Since the conversion, VSP has been focused on placing the male population in meaningful programs, with educational programs a high priority.

VSP has established itself as a premiere educational program, receiving its third six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

“This is a monumental achievement considering the conversion,” Warden Ron Davis said. “Our staff and the inmate-students really worked hard to achieve this level of success.”

Filling educational and vocational positions was a priority after the conversion.  That priority placement proved beneficial because within six months of the completed conversion, VSP graduated 163 students from various educational programs.

The graduation honored 78 Computer Literacy students; 19 Electronics/Fiber optics students; 3 Office Services students; and 63 General Education Development (GED) students

Chief Deputy Warden Fredrick Field III congratulated the participants at the ceremony.

“You could really see the sense of accomplishment in the eyes of the graduates,” he said. “For many inmates this was a giant step in the right direction, and each one displayed a sense of pride when holding their diploma.”