Florida Department of Corrections Banner, Secretary Mark S. Inch


Press Release

December 8, 2022

FDC Inmates Graduate with Associates Degrees

OCALA, Fla. – The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) partnered with Ashland University to commend one of their largest graduating classes of correctional education students. Incarcerated individuals at Marion Correctional Institution were awarded Associate of Art degrees in a ceremony yesterday. More than 30 inmate students proudly wore their cap and gown as they were recognized among friends, family, staff and notable guests.

Keynote speaker, Ashland University's Executive Director of Correctional Education Operations, Denise Justice, reminded graduates, “No one can take away your education and the knowledge that you hold,” to emphasize the importance of perseverance and striving for success.

“Providing higher education in prison is an opportunity to extend quality instruction to individuals in pursuit of positive personal development,” said FDC Secretary Ricky Dixon. “We are proud of the inmate students for their accomplishment and commitment to a better future, and we are equally proud of the staff who helped facilitate their success. We hope to continue to expand on successful higher education programs that are a benefit to individuals and the community.”

FDC proudly partners with Ashland University to extend high-quality educational opportunities to the incarcerated. This program, like many others provided by the Department, encourages participants to engage in positive, pro-social behavior while incarcerated. Research shows postsecondary education can reduce recidivism, increase employability, and increase wages upon release.

For more information about the education services offered by the Florida Department of Corrections, please visit www.dc.state.fl.us/development/programs.html.


As Florida's largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates 80,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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