LA Works Partners with Los Angeles Sheriff's Department -
Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (M.E.R.I.T.) Program
On Wednesday, October 12, 2011 thirty-six inmates graduated from Sheriff Lee Baca's M.E.R.I.T program at the Pitchess Detention Center. The M.E.R.I.T. program is a 12-week classroom training program that teaches students to make good decisions while obtaining life and work skills. Courses are taught five days a week at the jail creating an education-based incarceration.
M.E.R.I.T. teaches life skills, anger management, drug education, computer skills, and film making, and gives inmates an opportunity to earn their GED through partnerships with the LA Works Career Technical Education and Hollywood Impact Studios, a nonprofit organization run by Gary Hall, senior vice president of post-production for Twentieth Century Fox Television.
LASD Director Karen S. Dalton acted as emcee at Wednesday's graduation ceremony at which inmate Justin Phipps was a graduating veteran who participated in more than one of the 12-week sessions during his incarceration. "In the seven months of M.E.R.I.T. I've learned more about myself and about life than in the past seven years of state (prison)," Phipps said. "You see, in prison, all I got was a drug habit. But through the M.E.R.I.T. program, I've gotten hope."
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich congratulated the graduates for their perseverance. "There are three types of people in the world," Antonovich said, "those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. Each of you has made things happen by graduating today in this program." -- Excerpt from Leon Worden, SCVNews.com
For more information about LA Works, contact:
Sandy Meza, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist
(626) 960-3964 ext. 2224