Sheriff praises BOCES program for helping people attain diplomas

Posted 2 July 2021 at 5:11 pm

Photo courtesy of Orleans County Sheriff’s Office: Jeff Smith, an instructor in the Orleans-Niagara BOCES adult/continuing education program, congratulates graduates for receiving their diplomas on June 21 in Medina.

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke and Jail Superintendent Scott Wilson

MEDINA – The Orleans-Niagara BOCES graduated 45 students from their continuing/adult education program on June 21. The graduates include seven people incarcerated at the Orleans County Jail.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Medina. Each graduate received a diploma that was presented by the instructors and the administration of program.

The continuing/Adult Education Program have been very successful in providing instruction to prepare participants with the necessary skills to take the Test Assessing Secondary Completion Examinations (TASC).

This program was formally known as the General Education Development Program (GED). Students that are enrolled are required to take a nine-hour examination in order to receive a diploma.

In 2014, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the O-N BOCES to provide educational services to individuals that are incarcerated at the Orleans County Jail. The primary goals of this collaboration effort is to successfully graduate students in order to instill a sense of accomplishment and to provide the individuals with a greater chance of becoming gainfully employed. This also has a direct impact on breaking the cycle of incarceration in order to become a productive citizen of Orleans County.

The continuing/adult education program has been extremely successful at the Orleans County Jail with over 26 graduates, including the seven that graduated on June 21. Sheriff Christopher Bourke has strongly supported the efforts of this program and has provided inmates with an opportunity to complete the program. Any inmate who has been released is allowed to return to the jail to take the TASC examination.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize all of the individuals who graduated on June 21 and especially those individual who demonstrated the determination to attend classes while incarcerated and successfully graduate from the program with a formal diploma.

In addition, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize Jeff Smith for his efforts with instructing students at the jail and preparing them for the TASC examination. His dedication to the program has greatly improved the success rate of graduation.