As a result of the Higher & Continuing Education Program for Incarcerated Women, which offers financial incentives for incarcerated women to earn GEDs and to tutor their peers, 18 women have passed the GED within eight months to date, the most ever passing the test in that time (prison averages three a year). Many of the women tested at the 4-6th grade before studying for the GED. The project's peer tutors are currently training the third cohort of tutors. A graduation ceremony on April 7th for the GED graduates and the second cohort of peer tutors were honored by Governor Ige, First Lady Dawn Ige, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald (picture above), and Hawai‘i state legislative reprensentaive Linda Ichiyama attending.
Most of women who pass the GED next take Windward Community College courses provided at the prison, and women being released are pursuing college too. These promising results are just the beginning! We are confident that educational success will only increase, leading to increased opportunities for the women to exercise more agency in their lives leading to more peace and well-being. We look forward to their positive and unique contributions to our community.