Number of State Inmates Earning GED's and Vocational Certificates Rises
The number of Florida state inmates earning General Educational Development (GED) certificates has risen for the fifth year in a row, increasing from 1,313 in FY0607 to 2,930 GED certificates earned in FY1011, a 123% increase over five years. That increase only reflects the number of inmates who passed all five parts of the test: reading, language and writing (including an essay), math, social studies and science. Many more inmates passed sections of it and will be retaking those sections to complete their GEDs in the coming year.
There has also been a 20% increase in the number of vocational certificates earned by inmates in the last fiscal year, from 1,850 in FY0910 to 2,217 certificates earned in FY1011.
Studies have shown that inmates who have a GED when released from prison recidivate at a rate 7.9% less than inmates overall. Studies also show that those with vocational certificates are 17% less likely to return to prison than those without certificates. Inmates participating in vocational programs are also more likely to stay out of trouble while in prison. Of the inmates in prison on June 30, 2011, those with a vocational certificate were 35% less likely to have received a disciplinary report in FY1011 than inmates without a vocational certificate.