Thanks to a partnership with the University of Maine at Augusta, 20 inmates in the Maine State Prison in Warren, were awarded college degrees! 14 received their Associate's degree, while 6 were awarded their Bachelor's degree. There was a ceremony held at the prison as well, so that family members could attend.

Since 2006, over 100 inmates have participated in the program and received various degrees. What's important to note here, is that inmates who are in programs like this, are 40% less like to end up back behind bars. That's huge. To date, however, only an average of 1% of the inmates coming through, have participated.

It's not discouraging to the Maine State Prison system, who feel education is top priority for preventing re-entry into the system. And having 20 graduates this year is amazing. The inmates had a chance at the ceremony to talk about how think the added education will benefit them on the outside, and give them a chance to make a new life for themselves and their families.

So, congratulations to the MSP's and UMA's newest graduates on achieving such a fantastic goal, and best of luck in their futures!!