The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles canceled the Wednesday graduation at the Paroles Parole and Probation Reentry Education and Employment Program Center, or PREP Center, located in Uniontown, after several graduates tested positive for COVID-19.

The Bureau announced the cancellation on Monday, saying the decision was made out of "an abundance of caution" due to a "small number" of positive COVID-19 cases among the graduating participants.

"All proper safety protocols were observed, and medical staff is on-site," the Bureau said in a statement. "None of the participants are in serious condition after testing positive for COVID-19. The Bureau stands firm in its commitment to protecting public and private stakeholders and the participants who reside at the PREP Center."

The Bureau did not announce a separate graduation date for the class of more than 50 participants who completed the program. The group will receive graduating certificates and certificates for succeeding in individually tailored technical programs.

The PREP Center provides reentry and rehabilitation services for probationers and parolees. It uses incarceration diversion to encourage individuals to receive support services to promote successful reintegration. The two primary program providers at the PREP Center, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Ingram State Technical College, work together to provide participants with mental health assistance and education and employment readiness services.

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