Breaking the Cycle—With New Partnership, Stride’s Keystone School Bridges Education Gap for Incarcerated Mississippians

According to the World Population Review, about 33 percent of inmates in Mississippi return to prison within three years of release, most of whom have never completed high school. The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is on a mission to address this alarming trend through a new partnership with The Keystone School, an accredited private online school for students nationwide. This partnership will help expand access to career-focused education for incarcerated individuals across the state.

“We’re excited to collaborate with the Mississippi Department of Corrections to help support incarcerated people on their path to successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society,” said Erica Rhone, Head of School for Keystone. "Our program is designed to meet the unique needs of students in non-traditional learning environments, and we are just as committed to helping incarcerated people achieve their educational goals and gain the skills they need to succeed in today's workforce.”

Through this partnership, eligible participants can earn a high school diploma through the school’s online adult learner program, with a focus on career readiness, in as little as 21 months or less. Participants will have access to self-paced online courses featuring a comprehensive high school curriculum, including core academic subjects such as English/language arts, math, science, and social studies. The curriculum also includes specialized courses that align with a student’s chosen career pathway in fields such as information technology, business management, criminal justice, and more. Additionally, students will have access to graduation advisors for support and feedback.

"Education is key to reducing recidivism and breaking the cycle of repeat incarceration,” said Burl Cain, Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. “This partnership with The Keystone School is another tool to advance basic adult education and is a step in the right direction for inmates to create brighter futures for themselves, their families, and our communities.”

This new partnership will be implemented across three MDOC correctional facilities: South Mississippi Correctional Institute, Flowood Community Work Center, and Marshall County Correctional Facility. The Keystone School will provide technical support, curriculum development, and graduation advisors for the program.

About The Keystone School

The Keystone School from Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the nation’s leading online and blended learning program provider, is an accredited private online school for independent learners who seek a highly flexible education. With more than 40 years of experience in distance learning, Keystone offers flexible education programs for students in all grades and of all ages to help them achieve their unique academic and personal goals. Learn more at

About Mississippi Department of Corrections

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is a state agency of Mississippi that operates correctional institutions and facilities. Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, MDOC protects and promotes public safety primarily through the efficient and effective custody, care, and rehabilitation of individuals convicted and sentenced for felony crimes. Learn more at


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