In an effort to design the education programs to the needs and interests of the population, annual surveys are taken requesting input and suggestions for educational, vocational, recreational, leisure time activities, and library programs. The literacy standard for the BOP is the high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalency. Program Statement 5350.28, dated December 1, 2003, requires that an inmate without a documented high school diploma or equivalency, participate in the GED program for a minimum of 240 hours (excluding sick time, furloughs, and other excused absences from scheduled classes) or until completion of the GED, whichever comes first. After 240 hours, participation is voluntary. However, inmates will not be eligible for a promotion above pay grade 4 unless they have obtained a GED or provided documentation of a high school diploma.
Education requirements of inmates with diagnosed special learning needs will be addressed in appropriate classes and provided with remedial instruction. When these students achieve their maximum learning potential, they will be presented with a $10.00 achievement award.
Additionally, the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (VCCLEA) mandates that any inmate with a date of offense on or after September 13, 1994, but before April 26, 1996, who does not have a high school credential, must participate and make progress toward attainment of a GED certificate in order to vest earned Good Conduct Time. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provides that in determining Good Conduct Time awards, the BOP 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 VCCLEA or be eligible toearn the maximum amount of Good Conduct Time (PLRA). Program Statement 5350.24, dated July 24, 1997, requires all inmates who have limited English proficiency skills to complete one period of English as a Second Language (ESL) program participation during his confinement. The mandatory period ends when the inmate has achieved the eighth – grade level as measured by score of 225 on the ESL CASAS reading certification test and a score of 215 on the CASAS listening comprehension test on forms B or C. The Education Department will recognize students for outstanding classroom participation and performance. These inmates will receive a certificate and an incentive award. Each student who successfully completes the GED test or CASAS certification test will receive a $25.00 achievement award and, will be recognized during the Education Department’s graduation ceremony.
Vocational training programs are provided for inmates who want to acquire marketable skills in a variety of areas. Upon completion the inmate will be prepared for an entrylevel position in the field of study and have a general knowledge of his career options. Current vocational training programs include Culinary Arts and Small Engine Repair.
To enroll in a vocational training program, an inmate must submit an Inmate Request to Staff Member form requesting enrollment in a specific course. Each student who completes a vocational training course will receive a $15.00 incentive award. Students interested in refresher skills or continuing education may sign up for various courses that are offered on a rotating basis throughout the year. Schedules of planned courses are posted on the education bulletin board for your review. Examples of Adult Continuing Education (ACE) courses are Conversational Spanish, Prison to Paycheck, National Geographic Classics, and United States and World History.
Informational flyers will be posted providing information on the classes and when copouts will be accepted for these programs. Inmate Request to Staff Member forms will not be accepted as an official request for enrollment. ACE classes are limited in enrollment capacity and those inmates who officially sign up first will be given enrollment priority. The Parenting Program is designed to help inmates develop positive relationships and family values. Mutual support and nurturing will be promoted and reinforced between inmates and their families. Discipline, physical and sexual abuse, nutrition, self-esteem, child development, and social services resources will be provided and discussed. Opportunities will be given for structured parenting visitation activities as will as guest speakers. To enroll in the Parenting Program, an inmate must submit a cop-out to the Education Department. Apprenticeship training provides inmates the opportunity to participate in training in preparation for employment in various trades. Inmates who successfully complete apprenticeship training will receive a journeyman’s certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship, and Training.
To enroll in an apprenticeship program, an inmate must submit a cop-out to the Education Department.