One of six inmates at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center sits through a recent graduation ceremony at which they received industry certifications.

Six student-inmates graduated with their industry-recognized certificates (IRC) from CoreCivic’s career and technical education (CTE) programming on Friday, July 31, at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville.

The graduation was the first in-person ceremony since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but commenced only with implemented health and safety precautions. For the safety of staff and inmates, in-person social visitation remains suspended across Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) facilities, and Trousdale is no exception. The room capacity allowed only staff and graduates to be among the ceremony’s attendance.

CTE programming prepares inmates for better jobs following release. Historically, student-inmates at CoreCivic facilities nationwide have earned IRCs in construction fields such as carpentry, masonry, electric, plumbing, and HVAC. Computer-based certificates are also available, and inmates have earned IRCs in Microsoft Office and computer coding. At many CoreCivic facilities, inmates can participate in CTE programs that issue IRCs in Braille, diesel maintenance, and welding. These six CTE graduates at Trousdale were awarded IRCs in Computer Application and Literacy — or Microsoft Office programming — which better equips them to work with computer-based applications.

“Trousdale’s education staff has maintained diligence while helping student-inmates continue with their studies in preparation for release,” said Trousdale Warden Raymond Byrd. “I am very proud of these inmates’ perseverance despite the unprecedented challenges students have faced nationwide during this pandemic. We know it may not be easy to participate in learning outside of the classroom, but these student-inmates did their very best.”

Throughout the pandemic, Trousdale — like many other CoreCivic facilities — has found creative methods for helping student-inmates proceed with their individual learning plans, while abstaining from congregating in a traditional classroom setting. These methods employed by Trousdale include assembling education packets with GED and CTE curriculum material for student-inmates to work on independently, while socially distanced. Education staff routinely stop by student-inmates’ schoolwork stations to check in on their progress, or answer any questions they may have on the curriculum material.

CoreCivic congratulates these six student-inmates for their dedication — despite the challenges of a pandemic — to better prepare themselves for reentry through education.

— Submitted

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