By Lt. Angelo Gonzales, AA/PIO
Mule Creek state Prison

On Oct. 26, 2018, Creekside Adult School at Mule Creek State Prison celebrated the accomplishments of 236 students in four graduation ceremonies. The formal graduations recognized college graduates, high school diploma graduates, General Education Development (GED) recipients, Career Technical Education program completions, and the Division of Rehabilitative Program (DRP) accomplishments.

These graduations mark the second formal joint Education Department celebration in concert with DRP. The graduates represent the extraordinary efforts by the team of educators and DRP counselors who provide academic and treatment support to the students who have persevered despite the challenges of being incarcerated.

Creekside Adult School staff say they are pleased to provide robust college opportunities for students who have earned a GED or High School Diploma. These opportunities are provided in various models including correspondence, a hybrid model where the professor teaches on a biweekly schedule and face to face programs with the professors teaching in the facility. The models provide the students fields of study in Business, Social Work/Human Services, Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, American Studies, Arts and Humanities, Science and Math, and Sociology.

The ceremony included the first 16 Folsom Lake College Interns who completed the 30 units required to obtain their Social Work/ Human Services Certificate. These certifications are the culmination of almost three years of a joint partnership between Mule Creek State Prison and Folsom Lake College with all classes taught in the prison. Interns spend 216 hours designing and implementing projects with rigor and relevance to the Mule Creek State Prison community long after these interns transfer or parole.

Students were recognized for DRP accomplishments during the ceremony. Under the umbrella of the DRP Re-entry and the Long Term Offender Programs, Healthright 360 provides Cognitive Behavioral Treatment and Substance Use Disorder Treatment – Cognitive Behavioral Intervention over three and six month intervals throughout the year. The Long Term Offender Program requires 12 months of rigorous curriculum and dedication to meet the completion standards for graduation.

The Career Technical Education program completions included certificates from Computer Related Technology and Electronics. These programs contain real world evaluations from Microsoft and the National Center for Construction Education and Research, industry standards for training and employment in the public sector.

All four graduations were attended by the families and friends of Mule Creek State Prison students, as well as Northern Region Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Winistorfer from the Office of Correctional Education and Capt. Russell Bender, CCIII Terry Vang, CCIII Yesha Hill and PSA Anita Patel from DRP creating lasting memories of the amazing achievements recognized during these ceremonies.