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More than 3,000 High School Equivalencies and Diplomas Earned

Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Lori Benoit
Contact Email:
July 31, 2019
More than 3,000 High School Equivalencies and Diplomas Earned
Academic Achievements Support Commitment Toward Reentry


FORSYTH, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has achieved another accomplishment in its continuing commitment toward effective offender management and successful reentry.  The total number of High School Equivalency Diplomas (HSEDs) and High School Diplomas received by offenders in GDC facilities for fiscal year 2019 (FY19) totaled 3,021.

“Creating pathways for educational success, allows offenders the opportunity to gain the skills needed to re-enter society as productive citizens,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “Upon earning their diplomas, many of our offenders move on to complete a vocational or on-the-job training program in order to become better prepared to re-enter the workforce.”

The HSED program provides educational services catered to offenders who did not complete their high school education prior to incarceration. Students must pass tests in four basic subject areas to acquire their HSED: Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. Today, the completion numbers are attributed to several factors, including employing full-time, quality instructors at each facility across the state, the addition of three regional principals and numerous education program specialists, and investing in educational technology to keep students engaged.  In addition, instructional technology specialists have joined each region, working to ensure technology is implemented effectively.

In 2015, the GDC began a partnership with Foothills Education Charter High School to offer offenders, under the age of 21, the opportunity to obtain a High School Diploma.  The program provides offenders an individualized, self-paced, learning environment  that delivers coursework based on mastery learning and is facilitated by accredited teachers.  The program began at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Ga. and was expanded  in 2016 to Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Ga, and the third was established in 2017 at Phillips State Prison in Buford, Ga. Through this partnership, 278 offenders inside of Georgia state prisons have earned a High School Diploma since its inception.

For more information about Foothills Charter High School please visit


About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit

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