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Smith State Prison Hosts Graduation Ceremony

Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Salter
Contact Email:
April 7, 2017

Smith State Prison Hosts Graduation Ceremony

Horticulture, Beekeeping, Industrial Maintenance, GED

FORSYTH, Ga. – On March 30, Smith State Prison (SP) hosted a graduation ceremony. There were 47 offenders who received their GED, 9 offenders who became Certified Beekeepers, six offenders who completed the Horticulture program, and four offenders who received certificates in Industrial Maintenance.  

“Effective programming for our offenders is key to their successful reentry,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “We are grateful to our partners at The University of Georgia, Young Harris Beekeeping Institute, Southeastern Technical College, and Central Georgia Technical college for helping to make these programs possible.”

The GED program at Smith SP provides educational services catered to offenders who did not complete their high school education. Students must pass tests in four basic subject areas to acquire their GED: Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. The tests at Smith SP are administered by Southeastern Technical College.

The Beekeeping program is provided by The University of Georgia & Young Harris Beekeeping Institute. Following the completion of the six-month course, participants are required to take a written and practical exam. During the practical portion, offenders must name the parts of a beehive, detail the various cells in a honeybee frame, and demonstrate entering active hives. Participants who successfully complete all portions become Certified Beekeepers.

The horticulture program provides educational and hands on training in every aspect of plant culture. Upon completion of the six-month course, offenders receive a Horticulture certificate from Central Georgia Technical College.

The Industrial Maintenance program includes three, six-month courses, provided through Central Georgia Technical College:  Introduction to Industrial Maintenance, Motor Control Systems, and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC).

The 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 478-992-5248 or visit


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