It's a step in the right direction and towards a better tomorrow.

Four inmates at the Monmouth County Corrections Institution work towards turning things in a better direction by earning their GED's (high school equivalency diplomas) online through a program run by the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission.

After five-months of studying, they graduated on Wednesday January 17 during a special ceremony.

"I am gratified by the commitment made by today's graduates to use their time at MCCI in a constructive manner that will benefit them for the rest of their lives," Sheriff Shaun Golden said. "The wrong choices that brought the graduates to MCCI have provided these individuals the opportunity to make right choices about furthering their education and changing their lives."

The state of the art, virtual online GED program which runs throughout the year, began at the jail in 2007 and the most recent graduation puts the total number of graduates to 193.

The inmates study math, science, social studies, reading and writing five days a week to prepare for the GED exam.

"Education is the key to a productive future," Golden said. "No one can take that knowledge away. I'm hopeful these graduates will use it as they move forward and transition back into society for the purpose of positive change."

Monmouth County Corrections Institution GED graduates. (Cynthia Scott, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office)

The administration of the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission consists of Stuart Veeder, GED Teacher and Loren Basselini, Director of Education.

Lt. Richard Vilacoba and Capt. John Kolodziej handle the program administration for the Sheriff's Office Corrections Division.

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