Fifty-six inmates at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo were recognized Thursday at a graduation ceremony for the California Prison Industry Authority's (CALPIA) apprenticeship and job certification program.
The CALPIA program provides incarcerated individuals with productive work and training opportunities to help them prepare for re-entry into society.
Timothy Jackson is a former inmate who went through the program and is now the owner and CEO of Quality Touch Cleaning Systems in Southern California.
He spoke at Thursday's graduation.
"Being a formerly incarcerated individual and having an opportunity to come back into the institution, I'm hoping that I'm able to like just empower their perspective about what's possible," Jackson said.
Jackson was released from prison in 2017. He is married and growing his family and successful business.
"I feel encouraged, I feel honored. They don't have to let me back in here but they've chosen to let me back in here to give me an opportunity that they might not even realize is going to impact my life the way that it is, so I'm honored," Jackson added.
To learn more about CALPIA and its programs, click here.