EDUCATION DEPARTMENT FACILITIES AND HOURS
The Education Department is generally open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. each weekday, and from 12:30 to 8:30 p.m. on weekends (each institution may have slightly different operating hours which are posted on each bulletin board). The department is closed on holidays. Scheduling of classrooms is reserved for all mandatory programs, followed by non-mandatory programs. Scheduling for other programs may be requested through each institution’s ASOE. Posted evening and weekend schedules will be strictly adhered to.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
A representative from the Education Department will conduct an initial Education Consultation during Admission and Orientation. A follow-up consultation session with inmates may be conducted shortly after the orientation. This consultation is used to review the inmate’s educational status, and to make recommendations for program involvement. An inmate’s educational program plan will be based upon recommendations made by staff and/or will be combined with the interests expressed by the inmate. Inmates are encouraged to use the consultation session to ask questions, and to develop plans for his/her educational pursuits.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
The rules and regulations of the department and its relative facilities are expected to be followed, and include all safety and sanitation guidelines established for the institution. No food, beverages, or personal radios are permitted inside the Education Department. Head phones may be used for viewing and listening to educational video materials. Shirts will be buttoned and tucked in, and no sun glasses or non-religious headgear is to be worn inside the Education Department. Personal or legal materials should not be left unattended in the library. Inmates should periodically refer to the bulletin boards located in the Education Department for updates and complete listing of the Inmate Law and Leisure Library rules. Any deviation from the rules, misuse of equipment and materials, and/or failure to return checked out items may result in immediate dismissal, loss of library privileges, incident reports, fines, and sanctions.
MANDATORY LITERACY PROGRAMS
By policy, all federal prisoners who do not have either a verified high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate must enroll in a literacy program for 240 institutional hours or until a GED is achieved, whichever occurs first. Inmates may ask to be released from this program after 240 institutional hours; however, all promotions in the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) and institutional job assignments beyond entry-level grade are dependent upon successful completion of the Literacy Program. Failure to enroll for the minimum 240-hour literacy program may result in a Misconduct Report and/or loss of Good Time Credits, as outlined below. 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, participate in and make satisfactory progress toward obtaining a General Education Development certificate in order to earn vested Good Conduct Time (GCT). The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provides that when determining GCT awards, the Bureau of Prisons will consider satisfactory progress toward obtaining a GED certificate. For the Purpose of U.S.C. 3624, an inmate subject to the VCCLEA/PLRA shall be deemed to be making satisfactory progress towards earning a GED credential unless any of the following events occur: 1. The inmate refuses to enroll in the literacy program; 2. The inmate has been 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; or 3. The inmate has withdrawn from the literacy program. Inmates who are found at any time to be making unsatisfactory progress in the GED program (as evidence by committing one of the above), will be required to begin a new 240 hours mandatory enrollment period. Failure to attend or make satisfactory progress in the GED program may result in the loss of Good Conduct Time and sanctions. Inmates may not discontinue this program when participation is mandated by statute.
General Educational Development Program (GED) 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: Writing Skills, Social Studies, Science, Reading, and Mathematics. A pass on the examination by GED Testing Services standards entitles the examinee to a GED certificate and credit for completion of the bureau’s GED program. Those who are not prepared to take the GED exam will be enrolled in a GED preparation class where attendance is required. (P.S. 5350.28) English as a Second Language Program (ESL) All incoming U.S. citizen inmates, with certain exceptions, who have been determined to have limited proficiency in the English language, will be required to take the CASAS test measuring English comprehension. Inmates who are required to take the CASAS test and who score less than an 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. (P.S. 5350.24)
Educational Incentives Program Incentives are offered for achieving a GED certificate or successful completion of the ESL program. Additionally, both programs offer a “Student of the Month” incentive to students who show exemplary effort in their respective program. The specific incentives awarded are determined by education staff commensurate with the level of the student’s progress and/or accomplishment. Incentive for successful completion of the GED is $25.00 maximum. Additional incentives may also be awarded, such as Student of the Month ($5-10) or certificates for exceptional performance. (P.S. 5300.21/5350.28)
VOLUNTARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Parenting The Parenting Program is an 8 to 12-week program designed to empower and strengthen a loving and nurturing relationship between the parent and child. The program will help encourage a supportive relationship with those involved in the child’s daily life. Topics to be discussed include: empowering parents to be active, nurturing role models; stages of child development; nurturing the parent/child relationship emotionally, morally, spiritually, psychologically, and financially; positive discipline to promote learning; communications and listening skills; and, establishing parenting resources both inside and outside the prison environment. Upon completion of the program, inmates receive a certificate. (P.S. 5355.03)
POST SECONDARY/CORRESPONDENCE COURSE PROGRAM
Coastline Community College program enables inmates to obtain an Associates Degree in either liberal arts or specialized business. Inmates are responsible for the cost of tuition, books and any additional fees. A high school diploma or GED is a prerequisite to participate in this program. Education will post updates for this program on department bulletin boards. (P.S. 5300.21) Correspondence Courses require inmates to submit application forms and mail completed correspondence paperwork . All courses must be approved by the Post Secondary Coordinator, an Education Staff member, prior to enrollment. This will help ensure the inmate does not receive unauthorized materials, and assists with arranging proctored exams for the student. Costs and other correspondence requirements for these programs will be borne by the inmate. (P.S. 5300.01)
ADULT CONTINUING EDUCATION (A.C.E.)
Adult Continuing Education (ACE) classes are offered quarterly throughout the year, during evening weekday hours, and may sometimes on weekends. All ACE classes must be reviewed by the ACE Coordinator, and approved by the SOE or ASOE. Prospective inmate instructors must submit an approved course outline, curriculum, and lesson plans prior to the start date of each class. Participation in ACE classes is voluntary, and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Inmates who want to participate should submit an Inmate Request to Staff form (Cop Out) or sign up on fliers posted on bulletin boards. Inmates must meet the criteria established in the curriculum to receive credit for completing the program. Upon satisfactory completing the class, inmates may receive a certificate. (P.S. 5300.21)
VOCATIONAL/OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMS
Vocational Training (VT) programs are available to those inmates who have a high school diploma or GED, or who are enrolled in GED programs. Priority is given to inmates who have an early projected release date. Inmates should contact the VT instructor for further information on programs and enrollment for the following: Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) The Victor Valley College’s ASE Automotive program is designed to give the student a thorough and complete knowledge of the basics of the modern automobile. The ASE program is capable of training the student to entry-level performance on the latest industry approve equipment. Building Trades is a “ground-up” construction course that gives students an overview of the individual trades involved in residential and commercial construction with a primary focus on framing work. Inmates become familiar with hand and power tools, and receive hands-on experience in design and framing to help prepare them for work in general construction. Live work projects include construction of “mini-houses”, and special projects requested by departments. Major Appliance Repair offers inmates the trade skills to repair washers and dryers. The course consists of tool familiarization, basic concepts of electric and plumbing, and in depth maintenance repair of washers and dryers. Throughout the course, inmates receive ample opportunities to repair institutional appliance equipment. MS Office Computer Program is designed to introduce the student to the basic functions and applications of computers as used in a business environment. The program teaches word processing applications such as Word, Excel, and Power Point. Additionally, a keyboarding/typing skills class is available and recommended to be completed prior to enrollment. ServSafe is a nationally recognized food handler’s accreditation course honored by the National Restaurant Association throughout the United States, and is recognized internationally at any U.S. owned and operated food establishment such as hotels, restaurants, and cruise lines. This course teaches students correct food handling procedures including: proper refrigeration, sanitation, physical and biological food hazards, avoiding cross contamination, and proper handling of chemicals. Students must pass an exam to become certified. Wheels of the World and VT Bicycles are intensive training programs designed to enhance the inmate student’s ability to learn and retain comprehensive information involving wheel chairs and bicycles. These programs provide the students the skills necessary to master the basic concepts of repairing wheelchair/bicycle equipment, home medical equipment care (HME), basic physiology, sanitation, and how to treat people with disabilities. Live work projects include wheelchair and bicycle repair involving identification of parts and tools, and design of this equipment. All repaired items are donated to community programs. Apprenticeship Training Program is designed to provide inmates marketable skills and a journeyman certificate through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. The following programs are currently available to the inmate population: Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical, and Dental . These programs are offered in conjunction with the student’s work detail, whereby they learn the required skills on the job and via related trades instruction. Coordination of completion and certification of these programs is done via the Apprenticeship Coordinator, inmate’s detail foreman, and the DOL.
RELEASE PREPARATION PROGRAMS
Several Release Preparation Programs (RPP) and resources are available to assist inmates with reintegrating into the community as productive and law abiding citizens The most recent of these programs is called Learn, Educate, Act, and Prepare (LEAP), which encompasses a full daily schedule of work combined with core and elective classes offered by Education and other institution departments. Inmates enrolled in this 12 month daytime program are placed in work assignments commensurate with their employment skills. The Ready To Work is a four hour session with the United States Probation Officers speaking to inmates in an informational setting which is a component of the Mock Job Fair. The subjects discussed are release preparation, resume writing, cover letters, job interview techniques, appropriate dress, how to address criminal history of job applications and during job interviews, motivation and goal setting, and changing inmates’ previous negative lifestyle. Several partnerships have been created with the U.S. Probations Office (USPO), community outreach centers, one-stop career centers, social security administrations, faith based organizations, and small businesses, who assist with providing information about current job markets, available programs and community resources. Additional partnerships have been formed with the Veterans Administration and the Mexican Consulate, who send representatives to provide informational seminars about services offered by their organizations. These seminars are usually scheduled quarterly or semi-annually. In addition, Education provides several quarterly adult continuing education (ACE) classes , including (but not limited to) personal finance, driver’s license (preparation for written portion), and real estate, to assist inmates with their preparations for pre and post release. An Employment Resource Center (ERC) has been established inside Education to provide inmates with video tutorials and research materials that encompass job search and interview techniques, resume writing, and general information about career opportunities.