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120 Men's Central Jail Inmates Graduate Sheriff's Education Based Incarceration MERIT Program with Life Skills Certficates, GED's, and High School Diplomas


120 male inmates at the Men's Central Jail Facility in Los Angeles were presented with Life Skills, Plumbing, Computer, Art Appreciation and Parenting Certificates. Several graduates also received General Educational Development (GED) certificates and High School Diploma's by Sheriff Lee Baca during graduation ceremonies held on Tuesday June 4, 2013, inside the jail.

The inmate students participated in the Sheriff's Department's Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT) program that is offered at each of the seven jail facilities in Los Angeles County by the Education Based Incarceration Bureau (EBI).

MERIT students move through a progression of learning, with the cornerstone being an extensive 12-week life skills training program that is offered by LA Works teachers, culminating with certificates being presented at a formal ceremony.

120 of the students were presented with the MERIT life skills certificates and 13 of these students also received their GED certificate. One graduate received his high school diploma earned through a program being taught by John Muir Charter School.

During Sheriff Baca's keynote address to the students he reminded them, "You can be physically imprisoned, but your mind doesn't have to be. I want you to believe in yourself and grow foward." Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald also spoke at the ceremony. "We can do more than warehouse people, we can make people better than when they arrived," said Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald.

One graduating student who spoke during the ceremony said, "the best way to be successful is to follow the advice you give others."

EBI's own band, appropriately named "Contraband," comprised of seven students, entertained the crowd.

Many of the students will be continuing their education while in jail, learning additional life skills, job skills, or earning their GED or high school diploma.

The Education Based Incarceration Bureau (EBI) is responsible for managing the 67 inmate educational and vocational programs within the seven Los Angeles County jails. There are approximately 18,000 inmates in the County jail system. Within that population, there are currently more than 7,000 inmates participating in the diverse learning programs.

For more about these programs, see the EBI booklet at:

or visit the EBI website at:

La Mar La Fave, Lieutenant

Captain Patrick Jordan

Education Based Incarceration Bureau

Custody Division

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

(323) 526-5380


Prepared by:

Public Information Officer Nicole Nishida

(323) 810-1973


Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau Newsroom

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department




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Men's Central Jail Graduation
Men's Central Jail Graduation

Men's Central Jail Graduation
Men's Central Jail Graduation

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