Gov. Deal Announces Program to Help Inmates Get High School Diploma

Today, Gov. Nathan Deal issued an announcement that the Georgia Department of Corrections has partnered with the Mountain Education Center Charter School to provide online, self-paced high school courses at Arrendale State Prison in Habersham County. The goal is to assist suitable candidates from among the 1400 female inmates housed at the facility in the completion of their high school diplomas. Approximately 200 of the inmate population are under the age of 22.

There are also plans to expand the program next year by partnering with the new Foothills Education Charter School to offer courses at both Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth and Arrendale State Prison.

Governor Deal stated:

“With seven out of every 10 Department of Corrections inmates lacking a high school diploma or GED, it is of the utmost importance that while individuals are in our criminal justice system, we do a better job of raising their education and skills to an adequate level. If an offender has been equipped to enter the workforce upon release, that person will stand a greater chance of avoiding relapse. This program will provide Georgia’s inmates the opportunity to change the direction of their lives.”

One of the positives that I heard about Gov. Deal from people in both political parties during the gubernatorial election was Deal’s willingness to work on prison reform in Georgia. There is a desperate need to not just house inmates but to also provide inmates with the tools and skills that can hopefully prevent recidivism once they are released.


  1. What would really help is to make it a crime to housing or job discriminate against someone for being a non-violent felon, as well as restore almost all of their rights stripped upon conviction. The punishment should not be ongoing; once time is served it is time to move on.

    All the education in the world is not going to help a ex-con with no skills and a felony record, or probation.

    But it is a good start.

    • John Konop says:

      In all due respect that makes no sense. If I am legally liable if i hire, and your record can be used against me, do you see the problem with your idea? THE REAL solution is to decriminalize pot….make other drug arrest issues easy to erase record via good behavior….. same with non violent crimes…expand Governor Deal idea to teach real job skills. for non violent offenders…

      • MattMD says:

        Yes, what perfect logic, Jon. Let’s make it so that offenders who have shown the propensity for violence in the past get NO second chance. Let’s make sure they are cast to the outskirts of society. What could possibly go wrong?

        • John Konop says:


          Good point, but we cannot have the same level as non violent offenders…The majority of people behind bars with also light sentence are non violent….In business we call this walk, jog than run…

        • androidguybill says:

          Did you get the part about “If I am legally liable if i hire”? That means that if he hires a person with a criminal record and that person commits a crime, he can be sued for hiring him. Do folks on the left care one iota about legitimate needs and issues that business owners have at all? Even if no felon commits a crime, the potential that one (or more) might will drive his liability insurance through the roof, lowering – or possibly eliminating outright – his profit margin.

          How about this: legitimate tort reform to protect business owners who are forced by law to hire felons. Sound good to you?

    • taylor says:

      I understand the benefits of eliminating this type of discrimination; however, I’m not sure it’s quite so simple. Would you want a person convicted of embezzlement, check fraud, etc. manning your store’s cash register or working as the CFO at the Georgia Department of Revenue?

      • John Konop says:

        That is why we need to walk, jug and run…..The low hanging fruit is decriminalizing drugs…We already have laws if you under the influence and driving…..

  2. xdog says:

    What a very donk idea. Maybe a similar approach could allow students in poorly funded rural school systems to piggyback on existing programs at wealthier systems. Of course that would require outlays for hardware and admin and evaluation. Limiting educational choices for many of the state’s students is just as real an expense as recidivism even though it doesn’t show up as a budget line item.

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