Oklahoma correctional facility holds largest graduation ceremony in its history

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HOLDENVILLE, Okla. – A group of inmates have used their time to better themselves, according to correctional facility officials.

On Wednesday, the Davis Correctional Facility held its largest graduation ceremony its history.

In all, 38 inmates earned their GED certificates, six earned associate degrees, 10 became certified through PBI CareerTech and 12 earned keyboarding certificates in conjuction with Workforce Oklahoma.

Warden Tim Wilkinson says in his 32 years in corrections, he has never seen a larger class size and has never had a corrections director attend a graduation ceremony.

Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh was on hand and spoke about how proud he is of them using their time to better themselves.

“I applaud all of you because it took guts and courage to get to this day,” Allbaugh said. “You made something more of your incarceration. I am sure you had many people telling you that you couldn’t accomplish this goal. Now it is up to you to do more when you leave this place.”

“You will need to rely heavily on your families and support systems. It will be up to your loved ones to keep you accountable and help you through the difficult times.”

Allbaugh also told the graduates that this is the first step to leaving their time in custody behind them and making a better life for themselves.

“If you can imagine being in these men’s shoes, it isn’t easy to get a GED, a college degree or obtain any kind of technical skill while serving time in prison,” Michael Easley, the principal at DCF and history professor at Tulsa Community College, said. “They came in determined and gave it everything they had each and every day. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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