Utah Inmate Protests Cut In Rehab Program


Eduardo Barba, who is serving up to 30 years at the Utah State Prison for killing a man six years ago, was one of 115 inmates who graduated yeserday with either a community college certificate or an associate’s degree, says the Salt Lake Tribune. The program is facing budget cuts this year, and will offer only vocational certificates. The Tribune also reported that the U.S. Department of Justice will give Utah $1 million in federal stimulus cash to help inmates “find and keep meaningful employment.”

For Barba, the prison program has been life-changing. While locked up, he earned a GED, a high-school diploma, and an associate’s degree in general studies from Utah State University. Barba urged people to get involved and make sure educational opportunities for inmates are not restricted to vocational certificates. “Please empower us to break free from our bonds to crime and deviant behavior,” he said, wearing a black gown over his white prison clothes. “Be a voice for those of us who do not have one right now.”

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