Freehold: Inmates from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution have been utilizing their time in the most productive manner, by going back to school. For the past five months, ten inmates have been studying for their GED (high school diplomas) online, through a program run by the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission. On Tuesday, Nov. 12, they officially became graduates of the program and received their high school diploma from the State of New Jersey during a special ceremony at MCCI.
“Education is the key to a productive future,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “No one can take that knowledge away. I’m hopeful these graduates will use it as they move forward and transition back into society for the purpose of positive change.”
This state of the art, virtual online GED program began at the jail in 2007 and MCCI remains the only county correctional facility in New Jersey to offer such a program. The most recent graduation has put the total number of graduates to 176. The inmates study math, science, social studies, reading and writing five days a week to prepare for the GED exam. The online program runs throughout the entire year.
“This GED course is the best avenue the institution can provide to us when achieving our dreams,” said Jorge Roman, a recent graduate of the program. “The fact that we become better men and women through this program makes us feel proud.”
The administration of the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission consists of Interim Superintendent Dr. David Abbott, Asst. Superintendent Christopher Rooney and New Jersey Virtual School Director/Principal Maria Penzimer. Captain Shawn Althouse and Lieutenant Thomas Bollaro handle the program administration for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Division.