SUFFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — The governor was in prison on Friday to deliver the commencement address at the first-ever college graduation ceremony at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield.

It’s part of a partnership with the University of New Haven and the Yale Prison Education Initiative. The two provide liberal arts college courses to inmates.

“I would like to say that the implications of a graduation being held in this space are not lost on me. With that I ask that we take a moment of silence to pay our respects to all of those who have been victimized by crime,” one graduate said during the ceremony.

The partnership was started in 2021. The first seven graduates got their degrees on Friday.

“Your friends and family are here because they are so proud of you. We’re all here because we are so proud of you, I’m here because I’m so proud of you. And most importantly I love hearing the pride you have in yourselves,” Lamont said.