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A gathering of 268 inmates at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and their families celebrated a joint graduation last week, as inmates at the prison near San Diego’s southern border were awarded various educational certificates.

155 inmates received vocation certificates, while 103 completed their GED exams and 10 earned Associate of Arts degrees while behind bars.

“I personally know what it takes to achieve educational goals and don’t know how you overcame so many obstacles to achieve what you have within this environment; but you did,” warden Daniel Paramo told graduates of the Otay Mesa Adult School.

The stated mission of the school is “to reduce recidivism by providing incarcerated students with the vocational, academic, and life skills needed to successfully re-enter society” upon their release.

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