By Justin L. Donohue  Image courtesy

I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate these messages (Prison News Service). I have learned so much since I started reading them. I also wanted you to know that as of last Friday, I am one of 12 inmates that were able to graduate mid-year from the Milan High School Program in Milan Federal Correctional Institution. Milan is the only Federal prison to have a High School Graduation program in the country and I think it would be really awesome if maybe you guys were able to give some kind of acknowledgement to Milan FCI for having the only High School Graduation program. It has been here for many, many years and I have no clue why more Federal Prison do not have this program.

The BOP forces us to get our GED if we do not have it, but Milan FCI gives you an opportunity to actually receive your true High School Diploma. I had dropped out of high school and joined the army. After the army I got into trouble and ended up in prison. Many people over the last 15 years have asked me time and time again, “You mean, you don’t have your diploma?” Like it was a big shock. I was so tired of hearing that because I knew that it would have been so easy for me to receive my diploma and I just didn’t do it.

Now that I have a son, I thought that it was probably a really good idea not to have a message for him that you can just quit doing things because they are inconvenient for you… so I buckled down and, with the help of the amazing MHS staff contracted here at Milan FCI, I was able to get enough credits to get my actual High School Diploma. It’s an amazing feeling and it’s open to everybody no matter what your story, background, or education.


Justin L. Donohue

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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