These college students graduated while inside prison walls

Two prison officials stand beside an inmate receiving a degree and a college superintendent.
Calipatria State Prison Warden Montgomery, Director of Adult Institutions Connie Gipson, inmate Argueta and IVC Superintendent-President Martha Garcia.

Calipatria and Centinela prisons see 86 earn degrees

On Dec. 17, Calipatria State Prison awarded 56 inmates with their associate’s degrees from Imperial Valley College. The following day, 30 inmates received their degrees at Centinela State Prison.

Calipatria Warden W.L. Montgomery said the milestone shows the partnership forged in 2016 with the college is sustainable.

“That’s just a reflection of your commitment and our commitment for that ‘R’ in CDCR to mean something,” Montgomery told the graduates.

Luis Trujillo, an inmate student at Calipatria, said this is the first time someone in his family has earned a college degree.

Trujillo was one of three Calipatria graduates honored with awards of excellence.

“We owe it to our communities, our families, but most of all we owe it to ourselves (to continue on this path),” Trujillo told the graduates.

College Superintendent-President Martha Garcia encouraged the graduates to continue to grow and learn.

“Whatever your dreams are, today is a reflection that you can achieve them,” Garcia said.

Editor’s note: Imperial Valley Press was on hand to cover the graduations. (Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)