News Releases

RJDCF Awards College Degrees and Vocational/GED Certificates at Inmate Graduation

SAN DIEGO – On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF), along with representatives from Senator Juan Vargas’ Office and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, held graduations for 268 inmates and their families, who were invited to attend the ceremonies.

The graduates, who were awarded 10 Associate of Arts degrees, 103 GED certificates, and 155 vocational certificates, will be able to utilize their new skills while incarcerated and upon their release into the community.

After a welcoming address by Principal Kathy Balakian, Warden Daniel Paramo congratulated the Otay Mesa Adult School graduates on their success and challenged them to strive for even more personal growth and success.

“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,” Paramo said.  “What you’ve done is tremendous!  You proven to yourselves that you can accomplish anything you set your minds to; but don’t think this is the end.  I hope all of you will want to continue on, furthering your educational goals.”

Inmate Phillip Fry, who received a certificate for his participation in the Machine Shop, addressed the alumnae and attendees at one of the graduations with an emotional and heartfelt speech.

He expressed his gratitude to the Warden and Education Department for offering educational programs and the instructors for helping him achieve his goal.  Additionally, challenged his fellow graduates to continue their educational goals.

The mission of the Otay Mesa Adult School is to reduce recidivism by providing incarcerated students with the vocational, academic, and life skills needed to successfully re-enter society.

Lieutenant Patrick Logan September 17, 2012
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