Types of Offerings
The Education Department at FCI Allenwood offers a wide variety of activities,providing many opportunities for self-improvement. A well-rounded program is offered which includes academics, occupational and vocational education, leisure-time activities, and recreation. In addition to classrooms, the department maintains a leisure library available to the general population six days a week. A wide variety of hardbound and paper back books are available. Additionally, the Education Department has established an Inter-Library Loan Agreement with the Union County Public Library to expand our offerings. Of course, you are financially responsible for any books you check out that are lost or destroyed. For further information regarding the leisure library, contact any member of the Education Department. Per Bureau requirements, the Education Department also maintains a full law library to aid those inmates researching federal laws pertinent to their case(s). The department provides typewriters for inmates preparing legal correspondence; however, it is the individual inmate’s responsibility to purchase a ribbon for use in the machines. In accordance with institution procedures, you may copy materials necessary for pt governmental entities, and institutions of higher learning throughout the United States.The value of a GED for the individual’s further achievement was so highly regarded by the U.S. Congress that the GED Program was made mandatory for United States Citizens. Per Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Program Statement 5350.28, effective December 1, 2003, any inmate who does not have a verified High School Diploma or GED must attend Literacy Classes for a minimum of 240 hours. An inmate may test out of the Literacy Program prior to the conclusion of the 240 hours. When an inmate successfully completes the Official GED Test, he will receive $25.00 as an award. Effective November 3, 1997, the Bureau of Prisons implemented the provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (VCCLEA) and Prison Litigation Reform Acts (PLRA). VCCLEA mandates that an inmate whose offense was on or after September 13, 1994, but before April 26, 1999, and who lacks a verified high school credential, participate in and make satisfactory progress towards obtaining a GED credential to vest earned Good Conduct Time (GCT). The PLRA provides that, in determining GCT awards, the Bureau will consider whether an inmate, with a date of offense on or after April 26, 1996, who lacks a high school credential, participates and make satisfactory progress towards earning a GED credential or High School Diploma unless the inmate refuses to enroll in the literacy program, the inmate has been found guilty of a prohibited act that occurred in a literacy program or the inmate has withdrawn from the Literacy Program.
Inmates who do not have a High School Diploma or GED Diploma, must take the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) if English literate or the Spanish Assessment of Basic Education if Spanish literate within 60 days of arrival. Inmates who claim to have a GED or High School Diploma will have 60 days to provide proof of this claim to the Education Department in order to prevent unnecessary enrollment. However, if the claim cannot be sustained within this 60 day period, the inmate will be scheduled for the TABE/SABE Test and enrolled in class. Based on the results of these scores, inmates will be placed in the appropriate level for class instruction. Classes meet daily Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays and are considered a mandatory assignment. Successful completion of the GED Program is rewarded with a monetary achievement award and allows the inmate to fully participate in all the department’s educational offerings. Additionally, completion of the GED Program allows the inmate to receive inmate performance pay no longer restricted to pay grade 4.
For inmates with a foreign language background, the department provides ESL Courses to ease transition to our nation’s primary language and aid communication in the present situation. Per Federal Bureau of Prisons Program Statement 5350.24, effectiveJuly 24, 1997, the Crime Control Act of 1990 requires that limited English proficient inmates confined in a Federal Prison System facility be required to participate in an ESL Program until they function at the equivalence of the eighth grade level in competency skills as measured by a score of 225 on the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) Test. When an inmate successfully scores a 225, he will receive $25.00 as an award.
Adult Continuing Education Classes (ACE)
ACE Classes are voluntary courses offered to those individuals who choose to continue their education and expand their general knowledge. ACE Courses are conducted during leisure time hours in the evenings and weekends. ACE Courses are inmate taught and last 8 to 12weeks. These courses vary from semester to semester, and may include subjects in business, history, vocational skills, foreign languages, geography,finance, government, or self-improvement. Classes vary from semester to semester, based on inmate volunteers who teach the courses. A list of classes will be posted in the housing units and in the Education Department prior to the start of each semester. If an inmate has a desire to teach a course, he must submit an Inmate Request to Staff Form to the ACE Coordinator detailing his request. Check with the ACE Coordinator for more details.
Post-Secondary Education (PSE)
PSE Classes are available through correspondence with colleges/universities that operate a distance learning program and that will comply with the special requirements and/or restrictions of the correctional environment. Any inmate who has received his High School Diploma or GED may apply. Inmate students are responsible for all costs associated with such courses. Any inmate who wants to pursue such courses must have prior approval from the Supervisor of Education for any course he wishes to take. Any materials not approved will be sent home at the inmate’s expense. Any questions regarding the PSE program should be addressed to the PSE Coordinator.
Employment Readiness and Employment Resource Center (ERC)
The ERC at FCI Allenwood is a center designed to identify as many employment opportunities as possible. The center offers the latest in job search techniques and materials to prepare all inmates for the challenges ahead. We offer a resume writer program, giving inmates the opportunity to construct a resume that will be posted on the internet. The off-line resume program follows a simple format that is user friendly; it is linked to the United States Department of Labor and state operated public employment services. Annually, a Mock Job Fair is held at the institution, providing inmates with a chance to experience a job interview with business people from the community.
Breaking Barriers Program
A Framework for Breaking Barriers: A Cognitive Reality Model is a video training series designed for use specifically in a correctional setting. The series is very effective at creating an awareness that change is possible and developing cognitive thinking skills so change can take place. The sessions in this video series lead participants to recognize that controlling how they think is a process that can be learned. The seriesis application driven by workshops following each session. The workshops provide hands-on practice.
The Education Department offers a Parenting Program to encourage and strengthen the ongoing relationship between family members, reduce conflict and anxiety, and prevent development of negative behaviors. The topics covered in this 12 week program include: Abusive Relationships, Child Development, Child Safety, Your Child’s Health, and Letter Writing.
The Education Department offers three occupational training programs: Building Trades Carpentry, Computers, and Aquaculture. The Building Trades Carpentry Vocational Training Program encompasses all aspects of residential construction carpentry to include tool and equipment maintenance, safety, and operation, sight plan layout, blueprint reading, foundations, framing as well as interior and exterior finish. Individual certification is available through the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI). The Education Department offers several levels of computer instruction to enable the student to obtain a working knowledge of the computer, practice its various business applications, and develop marketable skills as a computer proficient employee. You must have your GED to enroll in this program. The Aquaculture Vocational Training course prepares the student for occupations involving fish and other aquatic life forms management for commercial, governmental, and environmental companies/agencies. All aspects of Aquaculture Management are included – species, environments, water testing, essential equipment, marketing, accounting, and overriding legislation.
To assist you in transition from the institution to the community, the Institution offers a comprehensive series of classes. Topics covered include: Disease Prevention and Aids Awareness, Finding and Keeping a Job, Halfway House Regulations, Requirements of Parole Officers, Personal Finances and Banking, Marriage Enrichments, and Parenting.