500 Inmates Graduate High School
DRAPER, Utah — Five hundred men and women donned caps and gowns over their prison jumpsuits at the Draper and Gunnison prisons this year, as they celebrated an important milestone on their paths toward returning to the community as law-abiding citizens.
Inmates who choose to begin or complete their high school education can earn diplomas while they are incarcerated in Utah’s prison system. Utah’s Corrections system coordinates with Canyons School District in Draper and South Sanpete School District in Gunnison to make this possible. Various county jails also work with their local districts to achieve the same goal.
Educating the inmate population helps maintain safety inside the prisons by keeping offenders busy with meaningful and enlightening work, and it can help offenders correct their own past problem behaviors, ultimately aiding them in efforts to live a crime-free lifestyle once they are released.
High school education works in conjunction with vocational trades, job opportunities, treatment programs, life skills, and other opportunities to equip offenders with tools they need to succeed. In addition to preventing new crimes and protecting would-be victims, aiding offenders in correcting their behavior reunites them with their families, prevents criminality from becoming a generational cycle, and it helps offenders contribute to our community rather than continually detract from our tax base and public safety.
The Department of Corrections would like to thank its partners at the State Office of Education as well as Canyons School District, which administers high-school education to inmates in Draper, and South Sanpete School District, which administers high-school education to inmates in Gunnison. Due to the dedication of these teachers and administrators, a higher percentage of enrolled inmates are successfully completing high school. Corrections’ partners at county jails will graduate additional offenders this year, but the number of diplomas to be awarded is still to be determined.