- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

MOUNT OLIVE, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia corrections officials have launched a four-year college degree program at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex.

Called Moral Rehabilitation, the program aims to deliver on that name by reshaping inmates’ attitude toward life and living.

Nearly 30 Mount Olive inmates successfully applied for the program’s inaugural class. The program will be an extension campus of Appalachian Bible College. Inmates who complete the program will earn a bachelor of arts in bible and theology.

Corrections officials say the program will use no taxpayer dollars or other public funds.

The West Virginia program is inspired by a college course at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Officials there credit it with drastically reducing violence within the nation’s largest maximum-security prison.

The Moral Rehabilitation program is aimed at inmates serving life or long-term sentences.

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