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Thursday, January 5, 2023

Almost 100 Inmates in Wisconsin Prison Graduate From Milwaukee Area Technical College

Inmate graduates from Milwaukee technical college

Nationwide — In 2022, eleven inmates in the Wisconsin prison system earned a certificate in welding through the Second Chance program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. That makes a total of nearly 100 inmates since the program began

Hienok Demessie, an African American inmate, is one of the 11 men serving time at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections who became eligible to receive grants that funded their education. Each of the students in this year’s graduating class completed 17 credits in one semester before graduating in December.

“Hopefully this is going to put me on the right track,” Demessie told TMJ4.

Demessie is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of arson and burglary in 2019. Three years later, he got the opportunity to turn his life around once he’s released.

Since 2017, nearly 100 individuals graduated from the MATC program, which aims to help them get a job upon being released.

“If they don’t have an opportunity to learn something and have a job when they get out, chances are they are just going to repeat and end up back in prison,” said Guy Burazin, one of the instructors in the program.