Inmates graduate from the Prison-to-College Pipeline program

PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) — Nearly 50 inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman have completed a program that allows them to earn credits toward a college education behind bars.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections said 42 women and seven men are the latest to graduate from the Prison-to-College Pipeline program.

MDOC partners with the University of Mississippi, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Jackson State University, and the Mississippi Humanities Council for the program.

“Being incarcerated does not define who we are,” said inmate Nikki Holland said. “Through this program, I already have a college transcript that I can take with me to continue my education.”

Holland said the program gives her the opportunity to pursue plans to open an upholstery business after her release. The 45-year-old is serving nine years for possession of a controlled substance and prescription forgery in Harrison County.

Participating inmate students must have a high school diploma or GED diploma. They help to design the courses, based on their interest.

“We are currently looking at how we can expand upon partnerships such as these,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said.

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