ORISKANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Inmates at the Oneida County Correctional Facility were recognized Wednesday night at the second annual jail graduation ceremony. The 11 individuals graduating either completed their GED, or anger management and life skills counseling.
Since July, seven inmates earned GED Diplomas, one inmate earned a high school diploma, 16 inmates completed anger management classes and 28 inmates earned certificates in employment techniques.
Sheriff Robert Maciol said he hopes to create a safer Oneida County by helping inmates transition smoothly back into society, " The goal of corrections is to house inmates that are convicted of crimes but it's our obligation to try to work with them through inmate programs to turn them into as much of productive citizens as we possibly can."
Maciol credits Mohawk Valley Community Action, which operates the Second Start Life Skills program and Boces, which operates the GED and anger management courses for the inmates.
Inmates, such as James Judson, who is currently serving his sixth prison sentence, said the courses at the correctional facility have made all the difference in his life, " I've already wasted this much time and I don't have any more time to waste. I don't want to die behind these walls with nothing or nobody. I don't want to die and have no one at my funeral. I don't want my children not to know me."
Judson took an anger management course and hopes to someday complete his college education, " I found out here during anger management, they offer college courses I can take grants to go to college and there is programs to help us so I'm really planning on going to college."
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. attended the graduation..