A High School Diploma or a GED certificate is mandatory for all inmates. Inmates may be
exempted from this requirement for the following reasons: (1) Pretrial status; (2)Study and
Observation status as per 18 U.S.C. 3552 (b); (3)Sentenced aliens with a deportation
detainers; and (4)Warden’s exemption for good cause. If you do not meet the above
conditions, you will be enrolled for a minimum of 240 classroom hours, or preferably until
you earn a GED. If you are exempt from attendance, you are still encouraged to attend.
Programs are offered in English and Spanish. Until you earn a GED, you will not be
eligible for promotion above pay grade four.
Also, if you are unable to demonstrate English listening and reading comprehension of at
least eighth grade level as measured by the nationally recognized CASAS examination, you
will be required to attend English as a Second Language classes until you attain those
levels. If you meet any of the four exemption criteria listed above for the GED, you will
not be required to attend ESL.
Most GED and ESL classes are ninety minutes to two hours in length, and are scheduled
during normal working hours.
In cooperation with El Paso Community College, the Education Department also offers Vocational Training programs in the areas FCI Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Repair, Automotive Repair and Office Technology, FSL Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Repair and Office Technology, FPC Building Trades. Vocational Training programs meet six hours daily and are considered work assignments. Air Conditioning, Building Trades, and Automotive Repair are one year in length. Graduates will receive certificates from El Paso Community College, and students demonstrating high levels of competency may be recommended for state or agency certifications, such as ASE, ARI, and EPA.
The Education Department also offers Adult Continuing Education programs. These programs are generally taught by fellow inmates and have been developed to meet the interests and needs of the general population. Examples include foreign language, self-improvement, and business courses, as well as Primeria and Secundaria classes for Mexican inmates seeking to complete schooling they started while in Mexico.
Correspondence courses can be taken while at FCI, FSL, or FPC La Tuna. Education staff can provide listings of colleges and courses and assist you with coordinating books and exams. You must contact Education staff to receive proper approval before starting any correspondence course.
Parenting Program is offered at all three sites. It is offered in Spanish and English. The program addresses topics designed to help you maintain effective family ties while incarcerated. You will also be introduced to government and private social agencies that can help you and your family during and following your incarceration.