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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
March 21, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Reporters Invited To Inmate GED/Vocational Graduation Ceremony at Hardee Correctional Institution's Chapel of Hope on March 25, 2011

WHAT: Thirty inmates from Hardee C.I. will be presented with diplomas for earning their GEDs on March 25, 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.

Seven 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 Carpentry. The occupational competencies include 300 hours of classroom teaching and study along with 300 hours of hands-on training with the essential tools of the trade. 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: Hardee Correctional Institution 6901 State Road 62, Bowling Green, FL. The graduation ceremony will be held at the Main Unit in The Chapel of Hope.
WHEN: 1:30 PM, Friday, March 25, 2011
WHO: Inmates at Hardee Correctional Institution. Hardee Correctional Institution is an adult male offender facility located in Hardee County. It currently houses 1607 inmates ranging in custody from community 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, and those with a vocational certificate recidivate 14% less.) The number of Florida state inmates earning GED certificates has nearly doubled in three years, increasing from 1313 in FY 2006-07 to 2603 awarded in FY 2009-10. The increase in GEDs 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'd like to attend, please contact Kathy Conner at (772) 468-4068 or 559-4426.

DIRECTIONS TO PRISON:

Southbound:  State Route 60 West to US 17 South to State Route 62 West. Drive 15 miles, Hardee Correctional Institution will be on the left hand side.

Northbound:  US 17 North to State Route 62 West. Left on State Route 62 West for 15 miles. Hardee Correctional Institution will be on the left hand side.