SECTION 1. Section 48 of chapter 127 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:
The commissioner shall ensure that at least one educational program leading to the award of a high school equivalency certificate is available to all persons committed to the custody of the department or to county correctional facilities who have not obtained a high school degree or equivalency. Pursuant to section 129D of chapter 127, good conduct credit of 10 days shall be granted to those persons who satisfactorily complete an educational program leading to the award of a high school equivalency certificate.
SECTION 2. Chapter 15A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 5A the following section:
Section 5B. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, no tuition or mandatory curriculum fees for any community college online courses shall be charged to any persons currently committed to the custody of the department of correction or to a county correctional facility or who enroll within six months of release from the department of correction or a county correctional facility. The commonwealth, not the community colleges, shall bear the cost of providing free community college online courses under this section.
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