The education department at FCI Three Rivers is committed to meeting the individual educational needs of every inmate. It is the hope of the staff at FCI Three Rivers that every inmate will accomplish the educational goals set forth in their individual plan. We look forward to seeing students accomplish their goals.
By policy federal prisoners who are U.S. Citizens and who do not have either a verified high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate must enroll in a Literacy Program for 240 hours or until a GED is achieved, whichever occurs first. Inmates may ask to be released from this program after 240 hours by copout. This copout needs to be signed by the inmate’s unit team.
The VCCLEA mandates that an inmate whose offense was on or after September 13, 1994, but before April 26, 1996, and who lacks a high school credential, must participate in and make satisfactory progress toward attaining a GED credential, in order to vest earned Good Conduct Time (GCT).
The PLRA provides that, in determining GCT awards the Bureau shall consider whether an inmate, with a date of offense on or after April 26, 1996, who lacks a high school credential, participate and make satisfactory progress toward attaining a GED credential in order to be eligible to earn the maximum amount of GCT.
For the purposes of 18 U.S.C. 3624, an inmate subject to the VCCLEA or the PLRA shall be deemed to be making satisfactory progress toward earning a GED credential or high school diploma unless and until the inmate receives a progress assignment confirming that the inmate refuses to enroll in the literacy program;
a. The inmate has been found to have committed a prohibited act that occurred in a Literacy program during the last 240 instructional hours of the inmate’s most recent enrollment in the literacy program; or
b. The inmate has withdrawn from the literacy program.
Although sentenced deportable aliens are exempt from attending the literacy program for the mandated 240 hours, they are still subject to the satisfactory progress provision of the VCCLEA or PLRA and will not earn the maximum amount of GCT if they refuse to enroll in the Literacy Program; however, an inmate alien subject to a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion is eligible for GCT time at the maximum rate. Inmates will be responsible for verifying final deportation orders with their unit teams.
All inmates participating in the literacy program will be required to take the TABE or SABE test. All incoming inmates will be placed on callout for testing unless their education records confirm previous satisfactory testing. This examination indicates the academic grade level at which an individual functions. This information will help the Education Department place inmates in the appropriate class.
**Note VCCLEA/PLRA inmates who have/had an EDI GED UNSAT Progress Assignment before education staff verified education credentials (per policy) may have the ability to receive retroactive GCT. Contact Education Staff if you believe you are eligible for retroactive GCT.
GED and ESL Class Times
Monday through Friday:
Mornings: 7:45-9:30 a.m. and 9:30-11:30 a.m.,
Afternoons: 12:30-2:00 p.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Inmates who do not have a high school diploma or GED certificate and are deemed prepared by their scores on the GED pretest, may take the GED examination. The examination consists of five tests: Language Arts Writing, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts Reading, and Mathematics. These tests must be completed within a time limit of approximately eight hours. A passing score on the examination by Texas Education Agency standards entitles the examination-taker to a GED certificate. This is the equivalent of a high school diploma and credit for completion of the Bureau’s GED program. You must achieve a minimum comprehensive score of 450.0 on the GED test. GED Testing Service evaluates individual tests. As a designated GED Testing Center, the test is administered to you in the Education Department. You will receive a Texas High School Equivalency Diploma and an achievement award upon successful completion of the program and test. Testing accommodations may be available for inmates that meet certain requirements.
Inmates requesting to take the test in Spanish must complete a 6th test to receive their GED. This 6th is called the GED English-as-a-Second Language (GED-ESL) test. The GED-ESL is designed to assess functional English reading comprehension skills. Students taking the test in Spanish must pass the GED-ESL test before being administered the GED subject area tests. Inmates within 6 months of release are exempt from this requirement.
English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) Classes
This program is mandatory to all Non-English speaking inmates who are U.S. citizens. All inmates who are required to take the CASAS test and who score less than eighth grade level (e.g. a score less than 225) will be required to attend ESL classes until they achieve a score of 225 upon retesting. Deportable aliens may participate in the ESL program upon request. Inmates enrolled in the ESL program will be considered to be making satisfactory progress in the literacy program unless they have refused GED classes.
Graduation ceremonies are conducted once a year for students completing GED, ESL, and Vocational Training classes. A bonus of $25.00 is awarded for completion of GED, ESL or VT course. Certificates from the institution are also awarded for completion of ACE, Parenting, GED, and ESL classes and an additional certificate from Coastal Bend College is awarded for completion of Vocation Training classes. In addition a Student of the Month will be chosen each month from classes in the Literacy program for significant progress in their studies as well as dedication and hard work. The Student of the Month will be rewarded with a day off from school and work cleared through the Supervisor of Education and Unit Manager. Upon completion of each 240 hours of satisfactory progress, students will be awarded a day off from school. Other incentives will be awarded based on progress through the Literacy Program.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM
COASTAL BEND COLLEGE
Building Services Professional
Coastal Bend College offers a 480 hour course in the basics of commercial housekeeping. This course teaches the fundamentals of establishing your own floor maintenance business. A certificate of completion is issued after the successful completion of 480 hours of classroom instruction and hands on practice. An additional certificate may be earned after the completion of an additional 120 hours for the Advanced Commercial Housekeeping Management Techniques. Participation in this program is open to all inmates.
Building Trades Carpentry
Coastal Bend College offers a 720 hour course in the basics of Carpentry. This course teaches the fundamentals of handling basic tools of the carpentry trade. Inmates, who have completed the basic carpentry course, may qualify to participate in an additional 240 hour course in Advanced Cabinet Making.
Participation in this program is open to all inmates.
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
Coastal Bend College offers a 720 hour course of study in the basics of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This course requires the minimum of a GED or high school diploma in order to participate in the program.
Coastal Bend College offers a 384 hour course of study in computer applications. This course requires the minimum of a GED or high school diploma in order to participate in the program.
Coastal Bend College offers a 720 hour course of study in welding. This course requires the minimum of a GED or high school diploma in order to participate in the program.
General Automotive (Satellite Camp Only)
Coastal Bend College offers a 720 hour course of study in general automotive repair. This course requires the minimum of a GED or high school diploma in order to participate in the program.
OTHER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
All other programs are advertised by flyers in the unit and education department. Inmates may request enrollment with a cop-out and will be placed on callout for class.
The Parenting program is structured to help inmates build a solid family relationship while incarcerated. It will also help in identifying current issues, problems, needs and trends in marriage. Classes are by call-outs.
These courses must be approved and coordinated thru the Education Department. Approval must be received prior to the course being ordered. All costs of correspondence courses are the sole responsibility of the inmate.
Adult Continuing Education (ACE)
These are non-credit courses which are taught by inmate tutors. Classes are chosen which best meet the needs of the inmate population. Inmates interested in the ACE program may sign up for available classes via a cop-out after an ACE flyer has been posted in the units or Education Department.
Some classes offered, include: Keyboarding, CDL, Movie Critique, Real Estate, and many others. If you are interested in teaching an ACE course, please contact an Education Staff member.
Employment Resource Center/Employment Preparation Classes
The Education Department has a variety of materials and programs, as well as several trained staff members, available to assist inmates within 24 months of release prepare for post-incarceration. An Employment Resource Center (ERC) is located in the library. The ERC offers a variety of flyers on various topics. Computers are also available to prepare updated resumes and cover letters for use in job searches. Staff are available to assist the inmates with questions regarding these resources.
Employment skills and release preparation classes are also taught by education staff members. These classes are designed to provide training in the latest job search techniques and to give inmates the opportunity to prepare applications, resumes, and cover letters for use in their job search. As part of this program, a mock job fair is held once a year in the Education Department. An Offender Release class is also offered for inmates within 12 months of release. This class focuses on providing information on community resources available in the communities where inmates will be releasing. Some of the resources covered are: housing, transportation, one-stop centers, food stamps, TANF, SNAP, and medical.