Buffalo Public Schools, Erie County Sheriff’s Office partner to earn inmates high school diplomas

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A partnership between Buffalo Public Schools and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office yielded fruit over the past year, earning 35 individuals in trouble with the law a ticket to a different future.

Officers announced Thursday 35 earned high school diplomas by inmates of the Erie County Holding Center in the 2014-2015 school year. Police say most of those students transitioned into school systems, but four inmates earned diplomas while incarcerated.

“Whether you’re here for 10 days, whether you’re here for six months, whether you’re hear for a year, the idea is to make the most out of that opportunity,” said Thomas Diina, superintendent of the jail management division.

The education program was established three years ago to establish a program to provide potential futures to some with troubled pasts.

“Education beats incarceration all the time, every time, and that’s what the message is for this program,” said Buffalo Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. “Thirty-five is better than none, and none was the answer a few years ago.”

Officials announced the successful school year on Friday, highlighting one student who is now heading to a local university with the help of a Say Yes scholarship.

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