By Therese M. Giannelli, Community Resources Manager
California State Prison-Sacramento

March 24 was a landmark day for California State Prison-Sacramento’s Granite Adult School, when the First Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU) Graduation Ceremony was held in the B-Facility PSU Treatment Center.

Warden Jeff Macomber, Chief Deputy Warden Dave Baughman, Capt. David Roth, Granite Adult School Principal Dale Hamad, Vice Principal Ken Spencer and numerous staff members from the Education Department, PSU Treatment, Counseling and Custody attended the event.

Warden Macomber congratulated one inmate for passing the General Education Development (GED) Test and commended the entire group for their positive efforts in a challenging environment.

Several inmates made brief comments on the importance of the program in their lives and commended Robert Wilson for his outstanding teaching in the Voluntary Education Program (VEP) PSU program.

Principal Hamad congratulated the graduates and encouraged the participants to keep setting higher goals. Mr. Wilson said he enjoys teaching this group and he expects several of the students will go on to earn college degrees.

Nine inmates from Robert Wilson’s VEP class were in attendance. Graduates and honorees received GEDs, Adult Basic Education II Completion Certificates and Adult Basic Education I Completion Certificates while some received Certificates of Participation for their work in the college program.

Refreshments followed the ceremony. Staff and inmates visited after the ceremony, talking about their plans for the future and commitment to furthering their education.

The Psychiatric Services Unit is a secured housing unit for inmates at the Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP) level of care. Inmates in these units participate in at least 10 hours of out-of-cell activities in the PSU Treatment Center.

They may choose to take an education class in order to improve their literacy skills, work toward completing a high school equivalency certificate, such as the GED, or complete their high school diploma.

Inmates who have completed their secondary education are eligible to apply for the college program. The Granite Adult School currently offers college courses with three community colleges; Coastline Community College, Lake Tahoe Community College and Lassen College.