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Taconic Student Granted Clemency

On December 24, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to an MMC student completing her studies at the Taconic Correctional Facility, citing a clear demonstration of significant rehabilitation and a commitment to her community. Only 21 incarcerated people were granted clemency in 2020 out of more than 1,000 requests from New York State inmates.

MMC student Maria Ordonez served six years out of a nine-year sentence at the Taconic Correctional Facility. During her sentence, Ordonez participated in the Taconic College Program (TCP) where she took MMC courses, working towards a degree and making community-based efforts to prepare herself for reentry. Ordonez told her professors that the college program helped her to serve her time productively. 

Ordonez’s participation in TCP was one of the major factors influencing her commutation. During her time in the program, Ordonez received numerous commendations from the faculty on her dedication to her studies. These acknowledgements, which were included as part of her clemency application, reportedly had a significant impact on the governor’s decision.

About the Taconic College Program

The Taconic College Program complements MMC’s longstanding college program offered in the adjacent maximum-security Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for women, which has awarded more than 235 degrees since its inception in 1997. The collaboration of MMC, Hudson Link For Higher Education, and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) is the only program in New York State to provide an opportunity for incarcerated women to have an uninterrupted pathway to degree completion when transferred from a maximum-security facility to a medium-security facility.