SC prison hosts special commencement ceremony


      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A special class of South Carolina inmates is scheduled to hold a graduation ceremony.

      On Friday, the state Department of Corrections is set to host a commencement ceremony for 12 student-inmates who have completed an associates program through the Columbia International University Prison Initiative.

      The ceremony is to be held at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia. Officials say the program prepares inmates to do ministry work within the prison system.

      This is the fifth group of student-inmates to graduate from this program, which is funded by donations. The new graduates join 51 other alumni who are assigned as chaplain's assistants throughout South Carolina's prisons.

      CIU Chancellor George Murray is scheduled to speak at the graduation ceremony.