Graduation Ceremony for Some Anamosa Inmates

Hundreds of graduation ceremonies will be taking place over the next few weeks — but none will be like the one held Wednesday at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

Twenty-six inmates were recognized for earning their high school diploma, passing high school equivalency tests, completing an apprenticeship program or earning a bachelors degree while serving their time. Inmate Lamont Coleman told our coverage partner, KCRG, about the experience of walking up and getting recognized.

Instructor Patti Bammert says the 26 inmates were given another chance at academic success, and the degrees or certificates they have earned will make for a smoother transition to life after they complete their sentences.

That extra chance is a way for the jail to rehabilitate – rather than just punish. Inmate Robert Marsh says their success proves the perceptions of prisoners wrong.

Coleman says he never thought he would have the chance to go back to school to get a diploma.

Programs are taught in partnership with Kirkwood Community College, Simpson College and the Anamosa State Penitentiary Apprenticeship Program.


story courtesy of Radio Iowa/KCRG; photo courtesy of KCRG