information provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections
CREST HILL, Ill. (May 17, 2019) – Seven incarcerated men at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) are college graduates after completing Northeastern University’s University Without Walls program at Stateville Correctional Center. Special guests Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Dr. Angela Davis, and Chance the Rapper attended Wednesday’s graduation ceremony at the Crest Hill facility.
Graduates Joseph Dole, Raúl Dorado, Darrell Fair, Antonio Kendrick, Marshall Stewart, Devon Terrell, and Eric Watkins received certificates, expressed thanks, and then posed for a photo with Lieutenant Governor Stratton.
“I am proud to celebrate the graduates and students being honored today,” said Stratton. “These students are teaching us that for people to be accountable, it means that we must provide people the opportunity for them to learn and grow. Prison reform, like criminal justice reform, is about expanding justice, equity, and opportunity. As Lt. Governor, I am committed to doing just that, both in prisons and in communities throughout the state of Illinois.”
University Without Walls is a two-year competency-based degree program that leads to a Bachelor of Arts Degree. The program includes an individualized curriculum to help incarcerated men at Stateville Correctional Center reach their academic goals.
“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. “The support of our state’s leaders, colleges and universities, volunteers, and other notables shows our offender population that there are people who believe in them and want them to succeed.”
Chance the Rapper performed for the offenders and their families at the ceremony.