Originally posted on CalMatters.org.
As for most high school students, commencement day was big for Osvaldo Moreno. “This is a proud moment for me,” he beamed on a recent June weekend, and not just because he was the first to finish school among six—soon-to-be seven—children in his family.
Though it’s not on the parchment, Moreno, 21, earned his Johanna Boss High School diploma over the past two years at a state prison for juveniles in Stockton. And as one of fewer than 800 remaining youths in the custody of the soon-to-be-shuttered juvenile division of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, he said, that accomplishment—behind razor wire—was more than just a step toward a future job or a rite of passage.
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