FARMINGTON -- Aubrianna Carrillo sees her sister's high school graduation as an inspiration.
"It's inspiring, even though she's in a bad position being behind bars," said the 18-year-old Mountain High School senior. "It was good to see her walk across to get her diploma."
Aubrianna Carrillo and grandmother Pat Arndt were at the Davis County Jail along with other siblings, parents, grandparents and local ecclesiastical leaders to honor 19 jail inmates, including Alexandria Carrillo, 20, who participated in a high school graduation ceremony Wednesday.
"I believe education is our ticket to freedom and our ticket to sobriety," said Alexandria Carrillo, the student speaker at the ceremony.
Those who are high school graduates are less likely to reoffend and end up incarcerated again, she said in her speech.
Alexandria Carrillo told the students they all deserved a chance and "we all serve better. It will not be easy, and we will have to take baby steps."
Those at the ceremony were among 66 from Davis County Jail who received high school diplomas this year. The ceremony is held each March.
Jana Fowers, the high school program facilitator, said many of those who completed the jail's high school program had either been released from the jail or had been sent to another correctional facility.
Of those at Wednesday's ceremony, about two-thirds were federal or state inmates, with the remaining one-third county inmates, said Jack Boffing, the inmate programs director.
Tabber Wright, 26, of West Valley City, is a state inmate being housed at the jail.
"This diploma means everything to me," said Wright, who dropped out of high school in 11th grade. "It boosts my confidence. It's a big step up."
Wright, who described his teenage years as "reckless," has dreams of becoming a diesel mechanic. He knows the road to that dream will be rough.
"My life has done a 180 in here," he said. "I want to change."
Wright, like many of the inmates at the graduation, has enrolled in other programs at the jail to learn skills that can help him when he is back in society.
Emily Peronek, 28, of Sunset, also has completed many of the programs, including finishing the last six credits she needed for a high school diploma.
"This is a tool to help me become a responsible adult," she said.
"I have a 9-year-old son, and if I want him to graduate from high school, I need to do it."
This was the first time those graduating wore caps and gowns, along with tassels. It was also the last graduation ceremony for Fowers, who is retiring.
Davis County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Manfull said he suggested the sheriff's office have the graduates dress in caps and gowns for the ceremony "because it looks nice, and they deserve it. Many of them have done multiple programs at once in order to better themselves."
Green and gold were chosen because those are the colors worn by officers in the sheriff's office.