Three inmates at the Charles County Detention Center recently graduated with their Maryland State High School Diplomas from the State Board of Education. Ira Stevens, Tyler Morse and Francis Varelli attended classes, passed all of their exams and completed all necessary requirements.

Several resources in Charles County make it possible for inmates to earn their diplomas, including the Lifelong Learning Center and Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). Bob Sondheimer, from the Lifelong Learning Center, is the GED teacher for men at the CCDC and the women are taught by Carolyn Anderson.  Students attend classes twice a week and are expected to complete homework assignments.  All areas of the GED test — Reasoning through Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematical Reasoning — are taught. Upon passing the GED test, adults receive a Maryland State High School Diploma from the State Board of Education.

Francis Varelli and Tyler Morse attended GED class with Mr. Sondheimer and completed their final sections in September.

Ira Stevens, a CCPS student, met the eligibility criteria to continue his high school education. Matt Werner, a CCPS teacher, worked with and taught him individually for the past year.

The Graduation Ceremony was held on Wednesday, October 7. CCDC Command staff, teachers, as well as other support staff from the Charles County Public School system were present.

“One responsibility that we take very seriously is helping the inmates set themselves up for success once they leave,” said CCDC Director Susie Rice. “With a high school diploma, inmates will have a much better chance of re-entering the work force.”

“The programs offered at the detention center point those who are serving their time toward the resources that are available to them,” said Sheriff Berry. “We have the opportunity to give inmates the tools they need to become productive members of the community.”

CCDC Inmates celebrate their graduation.

CCDC Inmates celebrate their graduation. From left to right: Ira Stevens, Tyler Morse, and Francis Varelli.

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES + the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Learn more at the CCSO’s website.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 and has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit      

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Janelle Love