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PRESS RELEASE: South Seattle College and DOC Continue to Prepare Justice-Involved Students for a Brighter Future

Released June 15, 2023

Contact Chris Wright, Communications Office
or Ty Swenson, Director of Communications and Marketing - South Seattle College

SEATTLE – South Seattle College will host its spring graduation ceremony this weekend for Justice Involved Solutions (JIS) students. The program serves current and formerly incarcerated individuals who face significant barriers to education and employment. The Justice Involved Solutions program has spent the past 25 years helping students overcome those barriers, earn degrees, find employment and set themselves on a pathway to success.

What: Justice Involved Solutions graduation ceremony

When: Saturday, June 17, 2023 10:00 a.m.

Where: Georgetown Education Center

Building C Auditorium
South Seattle College Georgetown Campus
6737 Corson Ave S.
Seattle, WA, 98108

The ceremony will feature keynote addresses by South Seattle College Interim President Dr. Jean Hernandez and DOC Senior Reentry Administrator Susie Leavell. Several students will be available for interviews.

“Celebrating our amazing Justice Involved Solutions graduating class is a moment we look forward to each year,” said South Seattle College Interim President Jean Hernandez. “In 2023, we are also celebrating over 25 years of great work that’s been done by this program in collaboration with our state and local partners to provide a welcoming, supportive and respectful learning environment to current and formerly incarcerated members of our community. It is an honor to recognize our graduates’ achievement of this milestone with our partners, the Department of Corrections.”

“This has been an incredibly valuable partnership for more than a quarter century,” said DOC Secretary Cheryl Strange. “Everyone coming out of our facilities faces an uphill battle, and education is so crucial for formerly incarcerated individuals to overcome what can be overwhelming obstacles. South Seattle College understands the importance of creating better neighbors, and we are excited to continue to work with them to turn lives around.”

JIS offers several courses designed to assist students who face significant trauma and systemic barriers enter a college environment and find employment. Courses like Stop the Turnstile Lifestyle, Life Skills to Work and Moral Reconation Therapy help students build knowledge, resiliency and soft skills. The program also provides re-entry referrals for additional services like housing, employment, clothing and food pantries.

More than 9,000 JIS students have either graduated or achieved a positive outcome (defined as completing coursework milestones, obtaining successful employment and/or enrolling in additional education and training opportunities) over the program’s history.