Students honored at SICI fall graduation

Inmates stand in caps and gowns
By Mary Ellen Nourse, SICI Education

Three students were honored with GED certificates recently during the Fall 2017 Graduation Ceremony at the South Idaho Correctional Institution.  The afternoon event took place on Wednesday, October 18, in Visiting.

Michael Johnson, Deputy Warden of Programs offered a welcome, followed by an invocation by Chaplain  Doug Segali.

Ms. Cindi Wilson, Board of Correction, presented an enthusiastic keynote address.  Ms. Wilson shared stories of two offenders who were incarcerated here in Idaho and now have gone on to lead successful lives. One of the ex-offenders now travels around the state, giving motivational talks and encouraging current offenders. Ms. Wilson reminded the graduates that “You can’t change the past, it’s done.  However, you can change your future.”  

Along with Ms. Wilson, special guests were SICI  Deputy Wardens Michael Johnson and Terri Jo Shewmaker, Chaplain Doug Segali, and Connie McAnallen, Records Specialist and GED proctor for SICI Education.  Education Instructors Kim King and Mary Ellen Nourse shared comments about Education programs offered at SICI: GED, Adult Basic Education, Postsecondary Reading/Math/Writing, CTECH Introduction to Telecommunication, and Pre-Release.  To earn a Pre-Release “Triple Achiever” award, a student needs to complete all three components of the Pre-Release program:  Microsoft Digital  Literacy, Pre-Release class, and Education & Career Planning.  

In addition to the GED graduates, two students earned a Postsecondary Reading/Writing/Math certificate. One of the students has authored a book that will be published in early 2018. Two telecommunications students received their CTECH industry credential.  Of the 15 students who have completed the entire Pre-Release program during the past four months, 3 were still onsite to attend the ceremony.  

During his closing remarks, DW Johnson shared the recent story of a SICI offender and his pregnant wife, who arranged for a tobacco drop during Visiting. The wife will now give birth in incarceration, and five years have been added to the offender’s sentence.  In contrast, on the same day that the tobacco drop was arranged, other SICI offenders were in Education, working toward goals that will better ensure their success after release.  

Story published: 10/26/2017
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