FMC Devens Educational Programs

Sep, 19 11 Post by: admin | No Comments


Education and Recreation operate under the philosophy that academic/vocational training and recreational programs can provide necessary skills and resources for self-improvement, academic and occupational training, preparation for future employment and positive health and life experiences.

All programs are voluntary except for General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL). An inmate who does not have a verified high school diploma, or GED, will be required to attend classes for 240 hours or until he successfully completes the GED. For an inmate who cannot function effectively in English, mandatory attendance in ESL will be required.

Failure to participate in required basic education classes may result in such adverse consequences as loss of Good Conduct Time and pay grade restrictions. Inmates who enter the system with a VCCLEA or PLRA sentence, who do not have their GED, may not vest good time, and in some cases may earn less good time if they do not maintain satisfactory participation in the Literacy Program.

Inmates should consult a representative from the Education Department prior to declining participation. A representative from the Education Department will meet with each inmate at his official team classification.

The Education Department provides a wide range of academic programs.

Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Leisure (music, art, chess, bridge)
Parenting Release Preparation
Pre-GED (grades 6-9) Health/Fitness
GED (grades 10-12) VT Computer Applications
English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) VT Culinary Arts Program
Literacy (grades 0-5)


Certificates are awarded for completion of all courses. Promotions and Performance Pay assignments beyond the entry level grade (Pay Grade 4) are contingent upon successful completion of the GED and/or continued satisfactory progress and good effort towards completion of the GED program. Special classes are offered in high interest areas and on an as-needed basis. Incentives include a cash bonus upon completion of the GED and ESL programs, and participation in award and recognition ceremonies. An Education Representative will meet with inmates to plan their course enrollment needs.


All new commitments are interviewed by a member of the Education Department to determine educational needs and subsequent need for mandatory testing. Tests administered include: ABLE/TABE, Pre-GED, GED, CASAS (ESL), SABE.

Test scores are used to determine eligibility for various programs offered in the Education Department. If an inmate does not have a verified high school diploma or General Education diploma (GED), the inmate will be required to attend the adult literacy program and fulfill the minimum requirements outlined in policy.

Vocational Trades (VT) Programs

The purpose of Vocational Trade (VT) Programs is to teach skills which complement an inmate’s basic education. All inmates interested in these programs must have satisfactorily completed their GED or be actively enrolled in the GED program and making satisfactory progress.

Inmates who participate in VT Programs may be eligible for a variety of incentive awards, certificates and graduation activities. Inmates with a documented history of computer abuse (such as having used computers to commit a crime) will not be allowed to participate in the Computer Applications program. Currently, we have two VT Program available, VT Computer
Applications (Microsoft Office) program and the VT Culinary Arts Program.

Parenting Program

The Parenting Program is provided by staff and is designed for any father who wishes to remain an integral part of his child’s life while he is incarcerated. The Parenting Program provides solutions to issues women and children encounter when fathers are incarcerated. It teaches inmates good coping skills, how to interpret children’s behavior, how to administer positive discipline and how to give direction from a distance. It stresses the importance of developing healthy relationships with family as well as inmates acting as caretakers of the children. Most importantly, inmates will learn how to practice, demonstrate and apply what is learned with their children.
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