Suzanne Higgins Published

Mount Olive Inmates Begin Moral Rehab Program

Inmates at Mount Olive Correctional Complex can now pursue a four-year college degree that officials believe will reduce violence inside and outside of prison.

According to WV Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein, the new Moral Rehabilitation program that launched this week will change prison culture, save lives, reduce victims, reduce violence, and save money.

In a release the commissioner said the program will operate as an extension campus of Appalachian Bible College, an accredited Raleigh County institution.

Inmates who complete the program will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology.

Nearly 30 Mount Olive inmates have been accepted to the first class, which meets Monday through Friday.

The program will involve no taxpayer dollars. According to the release Catalyst Ministries, which already works with West Virginia inmates, will cover program costs.

It’s inspired by and will closely follow the college course at Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola. Officials credit the program for drastically reducing violence there.