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More Than 100 Offenders Graduate at Smith State Prison

On March 22, a total of 126 offenders participated in a graduation held at Smith State Prison (SP).  Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier served as guest speaker at the ceremony, where 102 General Equivalency Diploma (GED) graduates, and 24 Vocational programs graduates were present. Smith SP has had the most GED completions for Georgia’s close security facilities for the third year in a row.

“Our goal is to give offenders the opportunity to change their lives and go back into their communities better equipped for success,” said Commissioner Dozier.  “It is up to them to choose to take advantage of all the opportunities in front of them, and I was happy to see so many of them doing just that at Smith SP.”

Graduates who were present for the Vocational programs ceremony, received certificates for programs such as Horticulture and Computer Repair / A+ Certification.  The horticulture classes focus on garden cultivation and management, while the Computer Repair / A+ Certification class prepares offenders for the CompTIA (Computer Technology Industry Association) A+ Certification exam.

Speaking to his classmates, one of the graduates offered these words:  “By the time we reach this point, we are broken in mind and spirit. Today, I seek power in instruction and education. We need to build on the environment we have and be mindful of our conduct. Education is the true foundation of our nation.”

Representatives from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles also spoke at the graduation, and granted Parole release to one of the GED graduates, Aaron Daniel Baker.

Information from Georgia Department of Corrections. 

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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