The education department serves as the administrative source for various educational programs. These services include: academic, vocational, apprenticeship, educational counseling, leisure activities, general recreational activities, and back-up services for programs as required.
In addition to the organized educational, vocational, and recreational programs, the education department also supervises the legal and leisure libraries, legal copying service, ordering of magazines and newspapers, and special purpose items. The foundation of the education department is the literacy program.
The literacy program has been implemented in accordance with Bureau of Prisons policies. It is divided into three sections: literacy, pre-GED, and advanced GED preparation. Current Bureau of Prisons policy requires you to have a high school diploma or to obtain a high school equivalency certificate before being allowed to receive performance pay. Any inmate who does not have a high school diploma or GED or cannot verify a GED when admitted to this institution is required to attend classes for a minimum of 240 instructional hours (unless you have already met that requirement at a prior institution).
The literacy, Pre-GED and advanced GED preparation classes are two hour assignments. The literacy and the Pre-GED Programs consist primarily of reading, math, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary building. Classes are open-ended, meaning that a person may enter the program at any time, at any level, and then progress at his own pace. Individual program plans are developed by instructors for each student and tracking systems are maintained to keep you aware at all times of how much progress you have made. Inmate students are assigned to the various academic programs based upon the results from the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), interviews with staff, and previous documented educational achievement.
English-As-A-Second Language (ESL)
The “Crime Control Act of 1990″ requires that non-English speaking Federal prisoners participate in an ESL program until they are able to function at the equivalence of the eighth grade level on a nationally recognized educational achievement test. Inmates with limited English proficiency are required to attend ESL classes until they are able to perform at the eighth grade level in competency skills, as measured by a score of 225 on the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment (CASAS) Reading Certification test and 215 on the CASAS Listening Certification test. Students who score less than 205 in listening and less than 215 in reading will concentrate on word recognition, spelling, alphabetizing, vocabulary development, sentence comprehension, handwriting, and language usage. Students who score higher than the 205 in listening and 215 in reading will work on further preparing themselves for everyday living in an English speaking society. Skills in grammar, usage, and structure are further developed, while an emphasis is placed on reading comprehension, written proficiency, and proper pronunciation. The class is open-ended allowing students to progress according to their individual readiness.
English Proficiency Component
To prepare inmates for a successful integration into an English speaking community and improve their ability to communicate within the prison environment, the Bureau=s Executive Staff decided in May 1998 to require a new English proficiency test to be administered along with the other core-tests in both the Spanish and French General Educational Development test batteries. The GED Testing Service developed the 6th GED test, called the GED English-as-a-Second Language test (GED-ESL), to measure the individual’s= ability to use the reading skills needed to function as a member of a U.S. community of English users in general, daily activities.@ Spanish GED students are required to score 400 or higher on the EPC test before taking the five core-tests of the official Spanish GED tests.
VCCLEA or PLRA
The Violent Crime Control Law Enforcement Act (VCCLEA) mandates that an inmate with a date of offense on or after September 13, 1994, but before April 26, 1996, lacking a high school credential, participate in and make progress toward attainment of a General Education Development (GED) credential in order to vest earned Good Conduct Time (GCT).
The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provides that in determining Good Conduct Time (GCT) awards, the Bureau of Prisons will consider whether an inmate with a date of offense on or after April 26, 1996 has earned or is making satisfactory progress toward attainment of a GED credential.
Inmates with deportation detainers who were sentenced under either act must participate and make satisfactory progress in order to vest earned GCT (VCCLEA) or be eligible to earn the maximum amount of GCT (PLRA).
An inmate makes satisfactory progress unless one of the following occur:
1) Refuses to enroll in the literacy program.
2) Found to have committed a prohibited act that occurred in a literacy program during the last 240 hours of the inmate=s most recent enrollment in the literacy program.
3) Withdraws from the literacy program.
When an inmate subject to VCCLEA or PLRA receives a progress assignment indicating that the inmate is not making satisfactory progress, the assignment shall be changed to indicate
satisfactory progress only after the inmate is currently and continuously enrolled in a literacy program for a minimum of 240 instructional hours. Any further withdrawal or finding that the inmate has committed a prohibited act in a literacy program during the last 240 instructional hours of the inmate=s most recent enrollment in the literacy program shall result in a progress assignment indicating that the inmate is again not making satisfactory press.
The Educational Good Time Sentence Credit for D.C. Offenders (DCEGT) is authorized by the District of Columbia (D.C.) Code and reduces the amount of time to serve under a term of imprisonment. The policy applies to D.C. code offenders in Bureau custody who committed their offenses before August 5, 2000, and completed designated education programs successfully while in bureau custody on or after August 5, 1997.
In order to recognize positive achievement of inmates progressing through the various levels of the literacy program, the education department at FCI Oxford has established the following incentives:
Certificate of Achievement – An inmate successfully advancing from Adult Literacy to Pre-GED and from Pre-GED to GED will receive a Certificate of Achievement.
An inmate passing the GED test will earn a GED diploma and a $25.00 monetary award, as well as an opportunity to participate in the education annual graduation.
ESL Certificate of Completion
Student of the Month – Each month, the Education department will recognize a student(s) enrolled in ESL or GED for his outstanding class participation and progress. This recognition will be in form of a certificate and $10 monetary award.
The inmate electronic legal (law) library is located in the education department. The legal library contains all materials required by BOP policy for the preparation and submission of federal questions of law, beginning with the Administrative Remedy process through the U.S. District court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Typewriters, legal forms, and supplies for use in preparing legal documents are available as well. The typewriters and supplies are for legal work only. If you have a problem regarding Wisconsin state law, there is a legal advisory service available through the University of Wisconsin Law School Intern Program. You may request an interview with members of that staff through your unit team if you need assistance with Wisconsin state law and cannot afford an attorney on your own.
The law library is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M., 12:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., Monday through Thursday, 5:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., and Saturday, 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
Resource (Leisure) Library
The resource/leisure library is also located in the education department and has available a wide range of reading material. Books are available for research as needed for college classes, as well as books for leisure reading. Resource materials can be utilized in the library only and are not available for checkout. Most of the books may be checked out by inmates. In addition to books, the library also subscribes to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers. The newspapers and magazines are for use in the library only and may not be removed. The hours the leisure library is open: Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M., 12:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., Monday through Thursday, 5:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., and Saturday, 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
Inmates may order books from outside libraries through the Inter-Library Loan Program. The inmate will be held financially responsible if a book is lost, stolen, or damaged. Order forms are available in the resource library.
Food Service Training Center
The Food Service Training Center (FSTC) provides advanced food service preparation and management training at the Associate of Arts degree level for selected inmates. Inmate FSTC graduates are awarded college credit for an Associate of Science Degree by the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin. Fox Valley accredits the Oxford program and its instructors. Curriculum for this vocational work/study program is the same as required for food service students on the main campus. Students are assigned to this program on a full-time basis where they earn pay just like they would on any other regular institutional job assignment. Upon graduation, a student is expected to be given an assignment to the institution’s food service department for a recommended period of time.
Each student works toward Apprenticeship Certification in Hotel and Restaurant Cooking through the United States Department of Labor. It is also possible for a student who qualifies, and makes application, to be certified by the American Culinary Federation of America.
At Oxford, one class of approximately nine students is admitted every nine months. The primary qualification requirements for the program applicants are:
1) Have a verified high school diploma or GED certificate.
2) Have demonstrated interest in the food service field. This interest is evaluated by documented proof of prior food service experience. If a person has no prior food service experience, it is recommended that he work in a regular institutional food service job for twelve months, before applying for this program.
3) Have a working knowledge of English.
4) Have at least 2-6 years left to serve on your sentence prior to release. This is to ensure
completion of the training, and to have the training still fresh in your mind as you release to the streets.
If at any time you are interested in applying for this program, please submit a cop-out to the FSTC instructor. You will be scheduled for a personal interview prior to the beginning of the next class.
Adult Continuing Education
ACE classes offer self-improvement opportunities to inmates at FCI Oxford. The classes are voluntary and they are scheduled during evening hours; they typically last eight to twelve weeks. Examples of these classes are: CDL, legal research, business, foreign language, and mathematics. The only requirement is an interest to learn. If interested in attending any classes or instructing a class, see library staff that will assist you.
At the present time, there are numerous apprenticeship programs available at FCI-Oxford. The institution Mechanical Services Department offers apprenticeship programs in the following areas: air conditioning/refrigeration mechanic, bricklayer, maintenance carpenter, maintenance electrician, maintenance machinist, mold maker, painter, industrial maintenance pipefitter, plumber, stationary engineer, tool and die maker, wastewater treatment, and industrial welder. The Dental Office of the institution hospital offers an apprenticeship as a dental assistant.
All of the apprenticeship programs at FCI-Oxford are sponsored and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. A local Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) has been formed and meets bi-annually to supervise the quality of the program offerings.
Selection of an apprentice is made by the J.A.C. and quarterly progress reviews of each apprentice are made by the committee. The basic requirements for acceptance into the apprenticeship program are as follows:
1) Must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
2) Recommendation from your work supervisor and the respective department head.
All of the apprenticeships, except the dental assistant, run between 6000-8000 hours (4-5 years), though more time may be permitted for completion as necessary. The Dental Assistant apprenticeship is a 2000 hour program.
Participation in other educational programs may depend upon having a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Therefore, Education staff at FCI-Oxford encourage you to become involved in your own future by obtaining your GED or enrolling in any vocational/apprenticeship, college program that is available to you.