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Forum Post: Prison Education Beyond GED and ESL -- Overview

Posted 1 year ago on March 23, 2013, 8:46 a.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Prison Education has two blog posts that 'splain lots:

Here is some of the first: Unlike in the States' prison systems where a prisoner is confined to a single State and the choice of where to "do time" is limited to the few facilities in that State, in the federal system a prisoner may wind up in almost any of the federal prison facilities in any of the 40 States where such facilities are located. Even though the mindset and function of the Designation and Sentence Computation Center ("DSCC"), located in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is responsible for initial designations is far from those of a travel agency, its mission is to make the best placement of prisoners possible, given all the different factors at play.

Security level is the most determinative. That limits where an inmate may go based on the nature of offense, whether violent or not, sentence time, affiliations, target characteristics, and, unfortunately these days, location overcrowding. These factors are beyond the control of the prisoner. But the prisoner can affect the DSCC's decision by providing input as to such matters as DSCC would not otherwise be aware. The DSCC will be aware of family ties and try to accommodate family visitations so that won't be necessary for the prisoner to address unless unusual circumstances necessitate an accommodation other than the obvious.

What the DSCC will have no inkling about is the prisoner's educational wishes.Read the rest here

and this:The BOP Central Office Division of Industries, Education, and Vocational Training is ultimately responsible for education and vocational training programs within the Bureau of Prisons, but each Federal prison has its own education department providing educational activities to federal prisoners. The Division manages Adult Continuing Education (ACE) activities, which are formal instructional classes designed to increase prisoners' general knowledge in a wide variety of subjects, such as writing and math, which is part of the overall budget and does not have its own distinct funding stream. Correctional institutions receive funds for educational programs through the regional BOP offices.

Read the rest here

25 Comments

25 Comments


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[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

another benefit of privatizing prisons - we can make profits on the education too

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6622) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Even if private prisons are more expensive, at least....err I can't think of anything.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/06/641971/private-prisons-cost-arizona-35-million-more-per-year-than-state-run-prisons/

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

From your link-
Arizona is losing money - so what - as long as the PIC is making money.
How much in kickbacks to the r.n.c. & jan finger ?


Private prisons, touted as a cost-efficient alternative to state-run penitentiaries, are not living up to their promises in at least one state. A new study of Arizona’s private prisons finds that the state is actually losing money — $3.5 million a year — by turning their inmates over to for-profit corporations.

According to the Tucson Citizen’s analysis of Arizona’s three oldest private prison contracts, the rate to hold one prisoner for one night has increased 13.9% since the contracts were awarded. Compared to the cost of state-run prisons, Arizona overpaid for its private prison beds by $10 million between 2008 and 2010.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Contractors have a tool that prevents them from losing money, they whine and complaint to congressmen ...and it works every time.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

If contractor companies were not allowed to contribute, this problem would be solved

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Did you read it?

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Yeah, there are like 6 different issues here.

1) Robert Reich and William K. Black warn against becoming a cynic because it means I might be giving up on government. But I am a cynic when it comes to government & defense contracts & Privatization & Public Private Partnerships. If the government contracts, usually the winner is the contractor. In this case MTC, the Arizona Legislature, & Maybe John McCain rigged the system to fall into a Fraudulent Trap.
2) Have mixed feelings about the Education Systems in Prison. Normally we don't have reform prisons. But here we have a rich education system which will cost tons of money in federal prison dollars. Ironic, that students have to pay $50K for higher learning, but prisoners may get it for free.
3) Normally Prisons seem corrupt with drugs, gangs, and corrupt guards that permit drugs & contraband... but there are low security prisons for white collar crime. Still seems that many prisoners can stack time easily with tvs, movies, weight lifting, networking, learning new crime techniques, renewing criminal associations. Seems to be a deterrent problem in the US Prisons.
4) Bensdad is pointing something out though. He is being Ironic. He points out that the PIC is just like the MIC in that politicians will do anything to please contractors ... including be part of Control Fraud, Legislative Control Fraud, or RICO Conspiracy.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Currently, 26 State prison systems have prison education programs, much of it very limited, and 24 States have none at all, essentially an even split. The "haves" are Alabama, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. That's 25. Not included is Georgia, number 26 in that list, because it provides education for women only, and that education is confined to religious preparation only. The "have-nots" are Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Read the rest here

You saw how the funding is set up by the prior posts. You also were able to follow the link that, while dated (2006), showed the regional set up of what was offered in Federal prisons. When you look at the vocational training then you can see where the prison labor is. Much of that is not preparation for an outside world to make enough to survive.

Frankly, by the time that I started college an associates degree was out. Now, that's gone in many areas as well. That doesn't cost 50,000. Yes, you need to be suspect of education contracts. I sure as hell would be and am of what does exist.

The flip side of this is that I am highly suspicious of people who want to get rid of everything without paying attention to what exists and what needs to be changed. Why? Because that is the same message that I get from those who are determined to make it all punitive rather than rehabilitative. By the same token, I am tired of people who do the least that can be done and pat themselves on the back and dress up in suits and smile for the camera.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Yeah that makes sense. I've had jobs where I was paid well, but didn't get a sense of accomplishment. Actually I enjoyed filing some days because you felt like at least something was done. Correspondence Courses have been written for 50 years at least and have been used by the military. This could be difficult for someone that didn't have the experience of success though. And reading skills really come into play. I would think correspondence courses could be free for prisoners and should be no need to rewrite them at all.

-How do you know if a politician is lying? his lips are moving.
-How do you know if a manager or politician is blowing smoke up your ass? He will frame it as a Black & White issue... like this is the simple thing and the right thing no need to look at this really. In other words a suit or a talking head or some kind of wheeler dealer ... just wants you to agree and go away. hind sight is 20-20....

Pardon my French above.

But yes, you make a fair point. All of us want Prisoners to not come back to prison as it does cost money. I guess a lot of volunteers work with prisoners just to help make an impact for study, critical thinking, discipline, planning, tools to reintegration into society.

Conservatives seem to fight against anything that is free to a citizen, but costs the government money ... unless it is for National defense.

There are careful ways to dole out benefits to prisoners. First you don't want to give away the expensive, limited benefits on people that are doing a short stint in prison. You want the prisoner to complete the program. You also work it like correspondence courses one step at a time, when it is completed you pass on to the next step. But mail is slow, so not sure how to work this better.

Anyway, you are probably way ahead of me again. Education in prison might be focused on tasks and abilities needed for profit making ventures that UNICOR or Federal Prison Industries or some other prison work shop needs.

And you are also right about people jumping to conclusions about programs. Just like any government program an education program can be mis-funded, can have poor policies and procedures, can have poor training, can have administrators with no experience or no imagination or no talent, the selection process for workers could be selecting the wrong people... or maybe the program is located in the wrong place, wrong program in the wrong place.

I'm guessing that most prisons are punitive. I guess max security would not have work programs or education programs ... except for chain gangs or road work crews or fire, brush fire work. The federal prisons are probably better in some ways than state, but seeing all the states you listed above ... those may be the places with good programs... but seems doubtful after the 2008 Financial Crisis. Many states have too much debt these days.

It is a bad time to be in prison. I think education will continue to be hard to find in prison.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

How do you know if a politician is lying? his lips are moving

Amen.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

The haves and have nots - interesting mix. Yep - process improvement to see people improvement - this also goes for the judicial system. Well everything really.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I know, right? I have no way of knowing if the have/have not line was intentionally thrown in as a reference to Marxist theory but it works.

Ya, I agree, every step of the way is important. And this little bit here: The prisoners' preferences should be conveyed timely by defense counsel to the sentencing judge. Giving educational goals as reason for a specific location will substantiate the selection and make more likely that the judge will recommend it and that DSCC will designate it. So the prisoner and his attorney will need to discuss specifically what ACE and OEP offerings are available at which prison facilities and convey those to the judge so that this may be included as a reason for the selection of LOCATION.

indicates that you have to know this before sentencing. So, I have to wonder what happens at this stage. Do the folks know? Are they informed?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Smart very Smart = Giving educational goals as reason for a specific location will substantiate the selection and make more likely that the judge will recommend it and that DSCC will designate it. So the prisoner and his attorney will need to discuss specifically what ACE and OEP offerings are available at which prison facilities and convey those to the judge so that this may be included as a reason for the selection of LOCATION.


People are kept from as much information ( helpful information ) as possible - it seems.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Are they? I have no way of knowing 'cause I have spent most of my life trying not to go to prison. Is it a some do and some don't issue?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

It seems only the wealthy are informed on such things - as they do not go to prison often - Hey?

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Could be but, they wouldn't need a GED program either.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

True = they wouldn't need a GED program either.

I was just trying to say that it would be a smart thing to have education available at all prisons for the incarcerated and that if some prisons had special programs ( and or equipment ) - that it would be smart to try to match the incarcerated with their interests and abilities/strengths as a way to rehabilitate successfully.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I agree.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Tell ya what though. If I were in prison - I would do my best to handle those classes after the long day. Is it Fair? Hell No. But one will never have better motivation. Hey?


[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (14628) 59 minutes ago

Ya. Hell, it would be nice if we could get that in the free world.

I noticed that one in one of the articles on prison ed justice that the classes were at night and that during the day the inmates worked-in CA. The way that I read it was that it was mandatory. In order to have one, you must do the other. These inmates were transported to the university and back to prison. However, some 70% either had a job or were enrolled in college by the time of release. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Thought you might. People have got to be helped to integrate into society successfully - this will be an area of growth for a healing society.


[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (14618) 0 minutes ago

I agree. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Ya. Hell, it would be nice if we could get that in the free world.

I noticed that one in one of the articles on prison ed justice that the classes were at night and that during the day the inmates worked-in CA. The way that I read it was that it was mandatory. In order to have one, you must do the other. These inmates were transported to the university and back to prison. However, some 70% either had a job or were enrolled in college by the time of release.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Did you read it?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Did you read it?

[-] -1 points by highlander6 (-2) 1 year ago

Are there technical training programs in the prisons?