The University of Maine at Augusta held a graduation exercise Jan. 15 at the Maine State Prison. During the ceremony, 14 associate degrees and six bachelor’s degrees were conferred.

The ceremony included remarks by Deborah Meehan, executive director of UMA Centers and UMA Rockland Center director, and Acting Commissioner of the Department of Corrections Randall Liberty.

The graduates were also addressed by Attorney General Aaron Frey and Joe Jackson, a former Maine State Prison inmate who, during his incarceration, received his associate and bachelor’s degrees from UMA. He is currently employed as texecutive director of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition.

In addition, two student speakers were part of the program.

UMA began providing educational opportunities at the Maine State Prison in 2006. Funding for this program, which has awarded more than 100 degrees since its inception, began with the Doris Buffett Sunshine Lady Foundation.