ALLEN PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Inmates traded in their blue jumpsuits for caps and gowns as the Allen Correctional Center held it's 22nd annual graduation ceremonies.
This year, a total of 48 inmates received either School of Faith certificates, their GED or Associates degree.
"I am just so grateful for everything he has allowed me to do- get my Associates degree even at this age… I'm just so happy" said Equilla Sapp.
The Correctional Center in Allen Parish partners with Cornerstone University and others to provide academic classes towards professional degrees as well as a vocational school for trade work.
"They can make application and get into the academic area," said Education Coordinator, Ty Pearce. "Or if they have already received a high school diploma or GED they can make application and go into the vocational program either offered by Louisiana Technical College or Parkview Baptist Academy.
Warden Burl Cain from Angola was the keynote speaker along with Warden Terry Terell who left them with what he calls the quote of the decade.
"It's irresponsible to absorb a vile of limited information and deliver a bucket of judgment" said Warden terell. "It means all of us… to a certain extent are anxious to draw conclusions from a limited amount of information. I want to make sure that we do- in broad terms- have all the information before we draw conclusions in any aspect of life" Terell added.
The day allowed the inmates to show the ones that love them the most just how serious they are about starting new paths.
"It means the world to have the opportunity for my mother to see the change that is happening in my life and see me accomplish something towards furthering that change" said GED recipient, Nathaniel Hernandez.
Inmates who successfully complete either the academic or vocational program do get time off their sentences.