August 24, 2011
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Contact: Gretl Plessinger
WHAT: Sixteen inmates from DeSoto Correctional Institution will be presented with their diplomas for earning GEDs on August 29, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. 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 State of Florida Department of Education certificates 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.
Reporters are invited to the graduation ceremony and to film/interview the graduates and teachers, some of whom are inmates themselves.
WHERE: DeSoto Annex, 13617 SE Highway 70, Arcadia, Florida 34266. The graduation ceremony will be held in the main unit chapel.
WHEN: Monday, August 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm.
WHO: Inmates at DeSoto CI 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. Blake Otte has been named the class valedictorian.
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 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’d like to attend, please contact Kathy Conner at (772)559-4426 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org so a background check can be completed.
DIRECTIONS TO PRISON: Southbound: South of Tampa on I-75, turn East 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.