Seven Stateville Correctional Center inmates earned degrees this week.
The inmates are graduates of the University Without Walls program that Northeastern University provides at Stateville.
Special guests at the graduation ceremony at Stateville on Wednesday included Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, Dr. Angela Davis and Chance the Rapper.
“These students are teaching us that for people to be accountable, it means that we must provide people the opportunity for them to lean and grow,” Stratton said in a news release from the Illinois Department of Corrections. “Prison reform, like criminal justice reform, is about expanding justice, equity and opportunity.”
University Without Walls is a two-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Chance the Rapper performed for the inmates and their families at the ceremony.
– Alex Ortiz
“The Illinois Department of Corrections believes education is critical for incarcerated men and women who want to change their lives,” said Dr. Anita Bazile-Sawyer, chief of programs at IDOC.