Florida Department of Corrections Banner, Secretary Mark S. Inch


December 13, 2021

Contact: FDC Communications
(850) 488-0420

Media Invitation to Second Chance College Graduation
Columbia CI to host graduation ceremony for inmate students earning college degrees through Florida Gateway College

WHAT: Media are invited to attend the Second Chance Pell Program Graduation at Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City. Newly appointed, Secretary Ricky Dixon will provide a keynote speech to graduates and attending family members.

The graduation ceremony is held in the general visitation area of the prison with graduate’s family in attendance. Inmates wear traditional caps and gowns as they walk across a stage to be presented with their degree by staff and administration from both FDC and FGC.

Media attendees can take photographs or film throughout the event and will have an opportunity to interview consenting graduates and their families following the ceremony.

WHEN: Wednesday December 15, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. EST
Media should arrive no later than 10:15 a.m. for processing through security and equipment set up. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.

WHY: Our partnership between Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) and Florida Gateway College (FGC) provides a pathway for inmates to earn their “second chance” by obtaining a college education while incarcerated. Participants live together in a designated dormitory and attend courses in a classroom designed to facilitate both in-person and remote instruction. Post-release, graduates have the knowledge and credentials to secure gainful employment thus decreasing their chances of recidivism.

WHERE: Columbia Correctional Institution Annex
216 S.E. Corrections Way
Lake City, Florida
Event contact: Deputy Communications Director Molly Best (850) 597-5336


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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