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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary


Media Advisory
February 17, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Reporters invited to Inmate GED Graduation Ceremony at DeSoto Annex on February 23, 2011

WHAT:Twenty-seven of the inmates from DeSoto Annex will be presented with their diplomas for earning GEDs on February 23, 2011, at 1:30 PM. Reporters are invited to the graduation ceremony and to film/interview the graduates and teachers, some of whom are inmates themselves. The GED test consists of five parts and is similar to a high school degree. To earn a GED, one must pass a five part test consisting of reading/language and writing (including an essay), math, social studies and science. If you fail just one part of the test, you do not earn a GED, but can retake the part you failed at a later time.

Forty vocational students will also be recognized at the ceremony. These inmates have received a State of Florida Department of Education certificate of achievement for completing the required occupational competencies in one of the following areas: applied welding technologies, carpentry, or masonry brick and block. Studies indicate that inmates who have a vocational certificate at the time of their release reduce their chances of returning to prison by 14 percent.

WHERE:DeSoto Annex, 13617 SE Highway 70, Arcadia, Florida 34266. The graduation ceremony will be held in the main unit chapel.

WHEN:1:30 PM, Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WHO:Inmates at DeSoto Annex. DeSoto Annex is an adult male offender facility located in Desoto County. It currently houses 1,453 inmates ranging in custody from minimum to close.

WHY:Inmates have a better chance of staying out of prison if they have an education. (Studies show inmates who have a GED when released recidivate at a rate 7.9% less than inmates overall.) The number of Florida state inmates earning GED certificates has nearly doubled in three years, increasing from 1,313 in FY 2006-07 to 2,603 awarded in FY 2009-10. The increase in GEDs earned can be attributed to several factors, including more frequent testing cycles to catch problem areas early; implementing voluntary literacy programs at our work camps; and the use of trained inmate teaching assistants.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: If you would like to attend, please contact Kathy Conner at (772) 468-4068 or 559-4426 so a background check can be completed.

DIRECTIONS TO PRISON: Southbound: South of Tampa on I-75, turn right on Highway 70 at Exit 217. (Northbound traffic should take Exit 217A.) Take Highway 70 to Arcadia. Continue on Highway 70 past Arcadia for approximately 12 miles. Desoto Annex is located on the right.