Published: Dec 06, 2012 10:50 PM EST
Updated: Dec 06, 2012 11:43 PM EST

A graduation ceremony behind bars. Inmates at the Moore Haven Correctional Facility were recognized today for receiving their G.E.D. or vocational certificate.

Instead of caps and gowns, these grads are in blue and white prison uniforms.

"I didn't really care about it because it was a decoration on the wall to me," said graduate Shane Sillett.

Sillett is one of nearly 50 inmates receiving a G.E.D. or vocational certificate and is serving a five year term. Sillett say's his life has changed just in the two years he's been locked up.

"I came around, started to bite my tongue in a lot of situations and just kept on moving forward," he said.

Sillett only the second person in his family to graduate.

"I was ecstatic, I was the first, he was the second," Sillett said.

The facility offers the G.E.D. program and a variety of vocational certificates like horticulture and barbering. The inmates start in basic courses then work up to the 6th grade level before obtaining the G.E.D..


"You have to master math, the language, the writing," said Moore Haven principal Sandra Newkirt.

"Margaret Thatcher, Plato, Michael Angelo," said graduate Tony Servance.

Servance has a four year old daughter back home. He say's she pushed him to do something more with is life.

"I also did it for her, so I can help teach her in areas that she needs when I get out," Servance said.

"I would maybe like to go to college and take some college courses," said graduate Louis Griffin.

Sillett say's he now looks forward to the future with the dream of getting a job doing small engine repair.

"I am just going to keep on moving forward and not looking back. I cannot come back to this place," said Sillett.