ACADEMIC AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
We stress education in both the academic and the vocational training programs. We believe the more education you have, the easier it will be for you to return successfully to society.
You are urged to look into educational opportunities available and to take full advantage of them. If you are qualified, your Unit Team may include educational self-improvement as one of your institution goals through the classification process.
In order to ensure the Education Department has an environment conducive to learning, the following rules will be enforced for all inmate/students. Portable radios or headphones will not be brought into the building. Food is not allowed in the department. This includes ice cream or any other type of food item. The orderlies in the department work hard to keep the area clean. Your cooperation is appreciated. Full khaki uniforms are required, tucked in, Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Magazines and other leisure materials cannot be read during the class period and are subject to confiscation. Hats cannot be worn in the building.
Students are expected to be in their classroom at the beginning of their scheduled class time.
GED 1 / ESL 1 7:40 AM – 9:20 AM
GED 2 9:30 AM – 11:20 AM
GED 3 12:50 PM – 2:50 PM
Failure to comply with the above rules will result in disciplinary action. Thank you for your assistance.
To serve as a guide for your future planning, the following are general descriptions of the available educational programs. Additional information can be found in the education handbook which is available in the education department.
GENERAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (GED)
The GED program is for all inmates who do not have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. The classes meet each day Monday through Friday. You may discontinue the GED Program after 240 hours from the date of enrollment or you may continue until successful acquisition of a GED certificate from the State of Texas. All classes are open entry/open exit and are offered throughout the year. An incentive award program has been established to encourage active participation and to reward student progress. Students who achieve the eighth grade functional literacy level will receive a certificate.
Students who achieve the State standards for GED will receive a State of Texas diploma and a cash award up to $25, if funds are available. Failure to achieve GED Certification will result in the inmate’s ineligibility to be promoted past a Grade 4 level of pay.
THE VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT / THE PRISON LITIGATION REFORM ACT
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 diploma, will participate and make satisfactory progress toward attainment of a GED certificate in order to vest earned Good Conduct Time (GCT).
The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provides that in determining 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 certificate.
Both laws mandate that inmates who do not possess a GED certificate or a high school diploma must participate in the literacy program until they attain of a GED certificate. Failure to do so will affect the inmate’s GCT. Congress mandated the Bureau of Prisons to implement the provision of both VCCLEA and PLRA.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING INMATES
This institution offers English as a Second Language classes (ESL) to serve the needs of non-English speaking inmates. The classes meet each day Monday through Friday. Beginning, intermediate, and advance classes are available. Inmates who have limited English proficiency skills are required to participate in the ESL program until they have achieved the eighth-grade level as measured by a score of 225 on the ESL CASAS level C Reading Certification test and a score of 215 on level B or C of the Listening Comprehension test. Only inmates with a verified deportation detainer are exempt from this program.
Students who complete the ESL program and pass the CASAS certification tests will receive a certificate from the Education Department and a cash award up to $25, if funds are available. In addition, GED and ESL graduates will be eligible to participate in the annual graduation ceremony.
ADULT CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Education Department recognizes that inmates should have an opportunity to enhance themselves by striving to improve their interpersonal relationships, communication abilities, self-motivation skills, realistic goal setting endeavors, and personal self-concept values. The Education Department offers a variety of programs to foster such skills. Classes in Business, Commercial Drivers License, Accounting, Strategies for Living, Personal Fitness, Spanish, Drivers Education, Employment, Finance, Income Tax, Calligraphy, Computer skills, Creative Writing, Drawing, Insurance, Speed Reading, Setting Personal Goals, Typing, etc., are offered on a continual basis to all inmates interested in voluntarily enrolling in evening Adult Continuing Education programs. You can sign up for the classes in building 8. Class offerings are subject to change.
Inmates can earn college credits in three ways. 1) College correspondence courses are available and offer college credits for undergraduate and graduate students. A catalog of correspondence courses is available in the Education Department for review. 2) The CLEP is designed for those students’ inmates with previous college experience within certain subject areas. The CLEP examinations test individuals on subject matter within specified areas where previous knowledge or experience would allow an individual to receive college credit by passing a thorough exam covering a particular subject matter. There is a fee charged for each subject area examination and this charge is the responsibility of the student-inmate. 3) College classes toward certification in Customer Service are offered by Cedar Valley Community College. Interested inmates must be in compliance with their Financial Responsibility Program, have at least six months of clear institutional conduct, and possess a GED or verified high school diploma. The institution may pay the cost of tuition for qualified students. However, additional fees and/or textbooks must be paid for by the inmate-student.
Through a Scholarship Committee, and when approved by the Central Office, Federal Prison Industries awards post-secondary scholarships semi-annually to selected inmates assigned to FPI. Eligible inmates may apply for a scholarship by submitting an Inmate Request to Staff Member form through their Detail Supervisor to the Scholarship Committee. All applicants must have a verified High School Diploma or a GED Certificate, be assigned full-time to Federal Prison Industries, and have an acceptable Work Performance Evaluation.
FEDERAL BONDING PROGRAM
Federal Prison Industries(UNICOR) has established a bonding program for all federal prisoners who were released after February 1, 2006 and were employed by FPI at least six months, consecutively or cumulatively, during their incarceration. The program offers a unique opportunity for employers who hire you to receive bonding insurance, at no cost to you or your prospective employer. The insurance will cover any loss due to employee theft of money or property.
It is important that you inform any prospective employer in your job application letter, job application form or during a job interview that insurance coverage up to $5,000 will be provided during the first six months of employment.
If you need additional information contact the Institution Bonding Contact Person the institution at which you are currently incarcerated or from which you were released. You may see the ACE/RPP Class Coordinator in the Education Department.
This certificate course prepares the student to work in the office or business environment. The program includes the following courses: Introduction to Computers/Computer Literacy, Keyboarding, Windows 95, Microsoft Word, Excel, and the presentation program PowerPoint. Inmates wishing to enroll must meet the following criteria:
a. Have a high school diploma or GED,
b. Be proficient in the English language or be enrolled in an ESL class. Proficiency is defined as having an EDI assignment of “ESL HAS,”
c. Clear conduct record for one year before enrollment,
d. Be in good standing with the Financial Responsibility Program,
e. Inmates with earlier projected release dates will receive priority placement,
f. Computer classes may be used as an incentive with the approval of the Supervisor of Education only if the inmate meets criteria established in a thru d.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING (VT)
A variety of Vocational Training (VT) programs are offered to the inmate population. The course offerings are selected based upon the demands of the local job market and the demands of specialized skills. Current Vocational Training courses offered include: Auto Mechanics, HVAC, Landscape, and Building Trades.
Vocational Training programs are designed to provide inmates with “live work” experience using theoretical classroom instruction. Trainees receive on-the-job instruction and, on completion of course requirements, receive appropriate certificates for documentation for future employment. Each Vocational Training course is periodically updated and re-evaluated to meet industry standards so that realistic marketable skills are acquired by student participants. Education Department Staff assist inmates with placement into VT programs. Information on VT areas may be acquired from the Education Department through an Inmate Request to Staff Member form.
The Education Department is approved to sponsor four (4) Apprenticeship Programs through the Department of Labor (Dental Assistant, Horticulture Landscaper, Paralegal and Youth Development Practitioner Program. Training and hours for these programs are reported to the Department of Labor. Once you have completed all of the required training and classroom hours, a certificate will be issued from the Department of Labor.
PLEASE NOTE: Inmates that are selected for these programs will be required to maintain a clear conduct record before and during the program. Should you receive any infraction or incident, you will be removed from the program immediately, as students in these programs are held to a higher standard.
Inmates that enroll in Education Programs (College, Vocational, Apprenticeship, etc.), will be required to compile an employment release portfolio folder prior to completing the program(s). These folders will consist of resume(s), educational and/or vocational certificates, employment leads, employment application, and one-stop community assistance in your area of release. Inmates will also be expected to enroll and complete his RPP classes prior to exiting the program as well. Additional information regarding the release portfolios is available in the Employment Resource room, located in Building 8 of the main Education building.
NOTE: Release portfolios will be required no matter what your release date is. It doesn’t cost to be prepared.