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Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and Dayton Correctional Institution Recognize 75 Graduates from Sinclair's Prison Education Program

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) and Dayton Correctional Institution recognized 75 female students graduating from Sinclair Community College’s Prison Education Program on Thursday, September 29, 2022. The event included a visit from representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, comments by students, and a performance by the Dayton Correctional Choir.

“We are incredibly proud to provide college education in all of Ohio’s prisons, including Dayton Correctional. Education is proven to be directly connected to success after release. It is imperative for the personal growth for the incarcerated men and women, and they are gaining valuable skills, knowledge, and self-esteem. Providing this opportunity is a rehabilitative necessity.” said Annette Chambers-Smith, Director – ODRC.

Sinclair Community College began offering post-secondary programming to incarcerated individuals in 1987 at DCI. Over the past five years, 678 incarcerated individuals at DCI have completed nearly 15,000 credit hours and earned 1,689 credentials (degrees and certificates) through Sinclair’s Prison Education Program.

“While we have made mistakes, we are not defined by those mistakes. We are now defined by the positive decisions that we are making. Through hard work and dedication, this opportunity is allowing us to achieve higher education, better ourselves, and return to society with the skills we need to succeed,” said Joy H., DCI-Sinclair graduate.

Sinclair currently offers five associate degrees and 35 certificate programs to prison program participants.

“This is a proud moment for the students, their family members, Sinclair, and the dedicated staff at DCI. Through education and support services, these women receive valuable education and training that can significantly increase employment opportunities and reduce instances of reoffending,” added Shelbie Smith, Warden – DCI.

Last year, DCI students achieved a 97.9% course completion rate through Sinclair’s Prison Education Program.

“Sinclair has always provided opportunity, especially to those in our community for whom opportunity has been tough to find. Sinclair Community College is all about helping people unlock their potential and realize their dreams. Our mission is to find the need and endeavor to meet it by providing second chances to those who need it,” said Dr. Steve Johnson, President – Sinclair Community College.

This year, Sinclair is serving approximately 2,200 incarcerated individuals in degree and certificate programs in all 28 Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) facilities. 

Last year, Sinclair’s prison students earned approximately 6,200 degrees and certificates. Since FY20, 420 associate degrees have been awarded to incarcerated students.