Skip to Content

Special Ceremony Recognizes More Than 130 Graduates from Sinclair's Prison Education Program

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) and Dayton Correctional Institution (DCI) recognized 133 female students graduating from Sinclair Community College’s Prison Education Program on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. The event included inspiring comments from Ohio Second Lady Tina Husted, wife of Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

“Today’s graduation ceremony represents new opportunities for these women and for Ohio. The graduates will reenter society with valuable skills so they can join the workforce and lead lives of hope and purpose, and Ohio’s businesses will gain new talent to help meet growing demands,” said Ohio Second Lady Tina Husted. “I want to congratulate each of these women on their accomplishments despite the adversity each has faced. Their future is bright in Ohio!”

Sinclair Community College began offering post-secondary programming to incarcerated individuals at DCI in 1987. Over the past five years, 805 incarcerated individuals at DCI have completed nearly 15,000 credit hours and earned more than 1,800 credentials (degrees and certificates) through Sinclair’s Prison Education Program.

“Sinclair Community College is proud to provide quality education that transforms lives and helps individuals 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. Steven Johnson, President – Sinclair Community College. “We celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates who represent hope, determination, and the resilience of the human spirit.”

112 graduates participated in the special ceremony. The event also featured a performance by the Dayton Correctional Choir and comments by graduates.

“Since starting my education journey with Sinclair, I have changed for the better. I have found a sense of purpose within Sinclair, and I am committed and inspired to create a better life for myself, said Shelby Knapp, graduate.

“I am extremely grateful to Sinclair staff, DCI staff, and the Warden for seeing me and helping me to realize my purpose and giving us all this amazing opportunity of an education, rediscovery, and a platform to express ourselves,” added Sylvete Gilbert, graduate.

Sinclair currently offers seven associate degrees and 37 certificate programs to prison program participants.

“As an agency, we have prioritized educational and job training opportunities,” said ODRC Director Annette Chambers-Smith.  “Education is a rehabilitative necessity, and these programs give the people leaving our prisons the tools they need to be successful and build a meaningful life for themselves and their families.  We are proud of our graduates for these accomplishments!”

“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.

This year, Sinclair’s Prison Education Program is serving more than 2,500 incarcerated individuals in degree and certificate programs in all 28 ODRC facilities. Since 2020, 689 associate degrees have been awarded to incarcerated students.