Inmate Earns 1st Diploma

By Jim Madalinsky

Published 04/30 2014 05:07PM

Updated 04/30 2014 05:41PM

BEDFORD - When it comes to getting a good education prison is probably one of the last places you'd think of, but after being transferred here from Fayette County, Terry Williams is trying to turn things around.
“Might as well make the best of the situation and come out a better person than when I came in,” 20 year old Terry Williams says.
Terry Williams says that wasn't an option when he was first incarcerated on theft and trespassing charges in Fayette County.
But after being transferred to the Bedford County Jail, he learned about their program through Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 which helps inmates under the age of 21 throughout the region complete their high school diplomas.
 “If they're incarcerated and they're showing signs that they're going to turn their life around so to speak by getting their high school diploma it shows that when they get out they're going to continue that progress,” Bedford County Jail Deputy Warden Adam Henderson says,
Henderson says Bedford County has been using this program for more than two years, but Williams is the first to earn his diploma.
“It shows me that this isn't the end. I'm only 20 years old this isn't the end of the world,” Williams says.
There are a number of reasons people aren't able to complete the program, but Henderson says the need for it is growing.
“Especially within this county, the people we see here that are 18 years old could definitely benefit from this program. It all depends on whether or not they have the drive to do it,” Henderson says.
And while Williams admits he's made some mistakes, he's thankful for the program and hopes it's the first step in the right direction.
“It's been a long road. Six months feels like a year, but I'm definitely looking forward and definitely trying to change my life,” Williams says.
Williams is currently finishing up his senior project on biology with the hopes of making it all official by the time he's set to be released in June.

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