New California program helps foreign-born inmates get diploma

New California prison program helps foreign-born inmates get diploma

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CALIPATRIA - A new program will allow foreign-born national inmates to obtain a high school education while still in prison.

It took a visit from The Consulate to Calipatria State Prison earlier this year to get the idea out there.

Surprisingly, it took less than 4 months for the Plazas Comunitarias Program to be integrated into the California Correctional System. In a press conference on Tuesday Morning, It was Calipatria State Prison who signed on before anyone else.

"We're really excited about the program", says Calipatria State Prison's Lieutenant Jorge Santana. "Especially for being the first prison in the state of California that will be having a program like this, giving the opportunity for inmates that are Spanish-speaking to receive an education prior to being deported".

The education program is geared towards inmates that are Foreign-born Nationals and are set to be deported once they complete their sentence.

According to Mexican Consulate in Calexico, Gina Andrea Cruz, the agreement shows that both Mexican and American governments want inmates to leave prison in a better state then when they arrived.

"The government of Mexico has always been concerned for the safety, health and education of its residents", says Mexican consulate, Gina Andrea Cruz Blackledge. "Not just Mexicans but everyone from Latin America. With this program we want to make sure that the inmates have the tools to succeed when they are released, whether they are allowed to stay in the United States or if they are indeed deported".

Over 1,000 Calipatria State Prison inmates qualify for the opportunity to finish their high school education. According to Lieutenant Santana and Warden Gerald Janda, although they'll start with just a few, he wants every inmate that qualifies to take advantage of the program, not just for their sake but the community's as well.

"Inmates that have a higher education are less prone to commit a crime", says Lieutenant Santana. "The more education they have, the less prone to commit a crime, the less prone they are to come back to prison".

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