The number of General Education Diplomas (GEDs) received by offenders in Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) facilities have increased by more than 20 percent from fiscal year 2016 to the latest numbers reported the end of April 2018.
Data released at the end of April reported over 2,400 GEDs were earned throughout Georgia’s correctional facilities. In fiscal year 2016, 1,224 GEDs were earned and 2,371 in fiscal year 2017. As of the end of April, the current fiscal year has now passed the 2017 goal of 2,371, which reflects a 96 percent increase.
GDC transitioned to the new GED test in 2014 and only 482 offenders passed the test. Today, the record numbers are attributed to having full-time, quality instructors who are at each facility across the state on a daily basis. In addition, three instructional technology specialists have joined each region. They work to ensure that technology is implemented effectively. The joint regional principals and education program specialists in each region where each team is using and analyzing data in order to attain academic success. The Warden and staff for each facility have also been supportive of the program and many of the offenders who see their peers achieving results get interested in enrolling and completing the program.
Upon completion of their GED, many of these offenders later transition into career, technical, and vocational programs provided through area technical colleges for each region in the state. Facilities also provide On-the-Job Training to help these offenders earn certificates. The ultimate goal for these completers is to gain a skill to obtain a job once they are released back into society.
In fiscal year 2016, 1,224 GEDs were completed. With 2,371 completed in 2017, this sets a record for the agency with over a more than 96 percent increase. Also for fiscal year 2017, 55 high school diplomas were earned through charter schools, which was an increase of almost 45 percent over 38 earned in 2016.