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Long pre-release center starts new CDL program

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POSTED: March 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Georgia Department of Corrections, Director of Operations, Planning, Training, Arnold Smith addressed CL class at the Long Pre-Release Center.

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LUDOWICI -- On Feb. 13, the Long Pre-Release Center started the first commercial driver's license class in a prison in the state.
It is part of a Re-Entry Early Initiative Program.
Department of Corrections Director of Operations, Planning and Training Arnold Smith came down from Atlanta to speak to inmates starting the class and the center's staff.
"This course is a milestone, a first," Smith said. "People will be watching you, and you need to demonstrate that a program like this is good for the county, the state and the nation.
"Many thought that this would never happen, but you have a dedicated staff here who have worked hard to get this program to help you and your families for your futures."
Besides Smith, several other dignitaries commemorated the inaugural inmate/trustee class, including DOC board member Cecil Nobles, who is also Long County sheriff.
"This CDL license, which you men will be getting, will be a big help to you. Do a good job here, and it will help you get a good job when you get out," the sheriff said.
According to Long PRC Superintendent Bobby Rowland, the men selected for the program had been through an extensive "weeding out" process, and were serving in the final stages of their sentences.
Rowland also said the 12-member class would complete the study in five to eight weeks, and would be training on a semi-truck, which had been confiscated in a drug arrest.
The superintendent said the course would be accredited through Middle Georgia Technical College.
Others a the ceremony included Smith State Prison Deputy Warden of Security John Brown, Middle Georgia Director of Correctional Programs Tom Wellman, DOC Workforce Developer Pat Lehn and MGTC instructor Ronald Ray.
The center, in Long County for a little less than two years, houses 192 inmates. It aims to help prisoners, who usually have less than two years left in their sentences, prepare to be released back into society.
"The staff here in Long County is top notch. Just getting this program is an example of them going above and beyond the requirements of pre-release centers, Smith said.
 

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