State’s Largest Prison to Honor More than 140 Inmates Who Earned GEDs and Occupational Certificates
Tomorrow, Thursday, June 9 at ECI in Westover

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TOWSON, MD (June 8, 2011)---Eastern Correctional Institution will honor dozens of inmates who’ve earned their GEDs, occupational certificates, or both, on Thursday, June 9 at the prison in Westover. The inmate graduation represents men on the East Compound who have successfully completed either their high school equivalency or training in a specialized trade.

ECI is the state’s largest correctional facility, with more than 3,300 male inmates. It is located in Somerset County approximately fifteen miles below Salisbury. In the past year, approximately 60 inmates on the East Compound have attained their GEDs, and 82 men earned certificates in masonry, carpentry, or office technology.

“Our GED passing rate for the past year has been 88 percent,” says Dayton Rexrode, principal of the ECI-East Education Department. “That’s well above the statewide passing rate of approximately 60%.”

Investing in human capital and transforming inmates into productive taxpaying citizens is a key goal of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). DPSCS works with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR), which provides the correctional teachers and runs education and library programs in the facilities.

DPSCS is working to drastically increase its partnerships with trade unions and other groups in an effort to make more inmates able to learn specific skills. In the meantime, however, the Department retains a strong focus on the basics: getting as many inmates as possible into the classroom to earn their high school equivalency (which more than 60% do not have at the time they enter prison).