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“We are not defined by our mistakes,” 75 women graduate from inside prison walls

A college graduation ceremony in a place you would least expect it, behind barbed wires.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” DCI Sinclair graduate, Joy, said. “I wanted to show my daughters different.”

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Today 75 women at the Dayton Correctional Institution (DCI) graduated with employment certificates or associate degrees from a unique program sponsored by Sinclair Community College.

Sinclair President Dr. Steven Johnson explained to Newscenter 7′s Mike Campbell that the mission for this program is to give inmates the tools to be successful once they are released and reduce the chances that they will end up back in prison.

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Sinclair is developing similar programs in all 28 prisons in Ohio to help inmates while they are in the facility, as well as when they are released, according to Maya Murray, Sinclair College Regional Director.

The women in this program feel this achievement proves that they are able to do things that positively impact society.

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“We are not defined by our mistakes that we made but the positive choices we are making now.” Joy said.

Some of the inmates in the ceremony may be released soon, while others have plenty of time left on their sentences.