- Friday April 12th, 2013 :: 09:14 p.m. PDT
50 Twin Towers Jail Inmates Graduate #LASD MERIT with Life Skills & GED's - Los Angeles County Jail
Fifty male inmates at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles were presented with Life Skills and General Educational Development (GED) certificates by Sheriff Lee Baca during graduation ceremonies held on Thursday, April 11, 2013, inside the jail. Two inmates also received their high school diplomas.
The inmate students participated in the Sheriff's Department's Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT) program that is offered at each of the seven jail facilities in Los Angeles Bounty by the Education Based Incarceration Bureau (EBI).
MERIT students move through a progression of learning, with the cornerstone being an extensive 12-week life skills training program, culminating with certificates being presented at a formal ceremony.
Forty-eight of the students were presented with the MERIT life skills certificates and three of these students also received their GED certificate. The remaining two graduates received high school diplomas earned through a program being taught by John Muir Charter School.
During Sheriff Baca's keynote address to the students he reminded them, “You can be physically imprisoned, but your mind doesn't have to be.” Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald also shared a special message with the inmates.
Guest Speaker Luis Garcia inspired the audience by sharing his story that resonated with the students. In 1995, Mr. Garcia obtained his GED while incarcerated at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood. He is now a doctoral candidate from Loyola Marymount University.
One graduating student who spoke during the ceremony said, “It was great to work on my GED, but it's the life skills portion that I need to apply to my everyday life.”
An a cappella choir comprised of fifteen students entertained the crowd with song, including a patriotic rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Many of the students will be continuing their education while in jail, learning additional life skills, job skills, or earning their GED or high school diploma.
The Education Based Incarceration Bureau (EBI) is responsible for managing the 67 inmate educational and vocational programs within the seven Los Angeles County jails. There are approximately 18,000 inmates in the County jail system. Within that population, there are currently more than 7,000 inmates participating in the diverse learning programs.
For more about these programs, see the EBI booklet at: http://shq.lasdnews.net/content/uoa/EBU/March2013-EBI_CreatingALifeWorthLiving.pdf
or visit the EBI website at: www.EBI.lasd.org
Sergeant Ray Harley
Captain Mike Bornman
Education Based Incarceration Bureau
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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