By Kelsey Cochran   

One credit shy of receiving a high school diploma, an inmate at Arrendale State Prison for women will soon be the first Georgia Department of Corrections inmate to graduate while incarcerated as part of a collaboration between the GDC and the Mountain Education Center Charter School.

The graduation was made possible by new laws that allowed for more classroom education and job training for inmates.

Gov. Nathan Deal updated state lawmakers on the program’s progress at a Tuesday luncheon to close out the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s 29th Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators at the University of Georgia.

The measures were designed to fight the state’s 30 percent recidivism rate in one of the largest prison systems in the United States, and Deal noted that of the 60,000 inmates across Georgia’s prisons, just 700 were engaged in continuing education opportunities while incarcerated before he appointed former Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Buster Evans as GDC Assistant Commissioner.

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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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