- Inmates of the California State Prison have bagged their degrees while still serving their sentence
- The programme was made possible through a partnership with a university in the state that allowed them to learn remotely
- Many people who commented on their graduation video wondered how the felons would be able to get jobs
The California State Prison on Tuesday, October 5, made history as 25 of its inmates got their degrees in communication studies.
The epoch-making event was made possible through a partnership between the California State University, Los Angeles, and the corrections centre, TODAY reports.
A second chance
It should be noted the event marked the first time a graduation ceremony would be taking place within the walls of the facility.
Download YEN's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with all major Ghana news
Secretary Kathleen Allison of the prison said that getting a degree while in prison is an opportunity for the prisoners to get a second chance.
How they attended lectures
The students had to learn remotely through videos as they connected with their lecturers, CNN reports.
The same media, referencing the prison, said figures from 2018 to 2019 show that inmates who get degrees while in prison are 40% less likely to return to crime.
Watch the video of the graduation ceremony below:
At the time of writing this report, the video has gathered over 500 comments with thousands of likes.
YEN.com.gh compiled some of the reactions below:
"I would feel happy for them too, but a part of me is uneasy with the fact as a law biding citizen I have to do the most just to receive a quarter of a free scholarship and have to prove why I am worthy to receive any help and yet inmates are allowed to receive for them free. Why can’t we all just have the same opportunity?"
"Congrats! Rehabilitation happens and lives change when people are afforded opportunities."
"This is what’s supposed to happen in prison it’s called rehabilitation, now they can come home and be a functioning member of society."
"Congratulations but just curious who paid for this? Do they get a free education due to the fact that they’re incarcerated?"
"Yea but can they get jobs as felons? Seems like they cancel each other out don’t they?"
Pardoned inmates graduated
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that the former president of America, Barack Obama, narrated how the clemency he granted to John Gargano Jr in 2016 totally changed his life.
Obama said that giving such an opportunity when he was the president was a task he never joked with.
John’s life did not only change, but the man also graduated from New York University with a sterling 3.9 CGPA.
Our manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in