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13 inmates from Mississippi State Penitentiary graduate from University of Mississippi courses



mississippi department of corrections - Parchman gate

A total of 13 inmates from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman celebrated their graduation from college-level courses on Tuesday. These courses were delivered through a partnership with the University of Mississippi.

The graduating class stood as a testament to unity and the power of education, reflecting racial diversity. These inmates, both black and white, voluntarily enrolled in intensive coursework that delved deep into American race relations. The curriculum placed special emphasis on the life and contributions of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., with various books about Dr. King forming the core of their studies.

This academic achievement was part of the “Prison-to-College Pipeline Program”, an initiative sponsored by the University of Mississippi. Now in its ninth year, the program seeks to bridge the gap between incarceration and higher education. This summer, faculty from Ole Miss navigated the challenges of the pandemic to ensure learning continued, providing both online and in-person instruction at the prison.

To qualify for the program, the inmate students had previously secured their GEDs. The ultimate aim of the program is not just to provide education but to equip these individuals with the means to transition seamlessly into college coursework. The dedicated instructors, comprising current and former faculty from Ole Miss, have worked diligently to guide these students. For those aiming high, the courses taken even count toward their 4-year degree pursuits.

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