By Michael Pope
William Boykin is getting his high school diploma, at the Alexandria jail. He's there for selling PCP, and it wasn't his first offense. Now, he admits his life was going in the wrong direction.
"Oh, that's all over with," says Boykin. "I'm going down a different road. I can't return to that now."
Like a handful of other inmates here, Boykin signed up for GED® classes. Now he's passed the test and he's standing in the gym wearing a cap and gown, receiving a diploma.
"As of now, I'm feel good about myself," he says. "I think I'm a good person, you know. I just made a mistake, we all do, but you live and you learn."
Eleven graduates received their high school equivalency diploma at the Alexandria jail, a service that the city has offered inmates for more than 20 years.
"It gives them a sense of accomplishment," says Krista Sefonia, the teacher. "And hopefully the motivation to continue with their education."
Boykin says he plans to attend community college and study culinary arts.