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Inland Journal, April 28, 2019: Airway Heights Prison Graduation

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

On today's Inland Journal podcast, Spokane’s spring graduation season began recently with a commencement exercise in a non-traditional setting. The ceremony was sponsored by the Community Colleges of Spokane. More than 100 men clad in blue robes accepted diplomas and certificates. The venue was the Airway Heights Correctional Center.

Many men and women who leave prison settings have to negotiate a difficult transition, from the structure of an institution where all of their basic needs are met, to a world where they’re on their own, often with little or no support, no prospects of work, no place to live. Those who can’t make that transition become homeless, maybe turning back to drugs or to crime as a way to make a living. The community colleges’ program is meant to give the men at Airway Heights some marketable job skills to help them successfully move into a life of freedom.

During the next several minutes, we’ll present some of the sounds of the Airway Heights commencement ceremony.