CDCR Office of
Office of Correctional Education
Ninety-five percent of California state prison inmates will be released to society. The average offender in California prisons reads at an eighth-grade level. Education is a key to successful release and integration. Inmates who learn to read and write and those who gain a skill are far more likely to succeed upon release. Those who do not are more likely to re-offend and end up back in prison.
The California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation is committed to preparing inmates for a successful reintegration into their communities in order to reduce re-victimization and recidivism. Thirty-two of CDCR's 33 prisons maintain fully accredited schools that offer academic classes, vocational training, courses in English as a Second Language, and library activities. (The 33rd school is new and is in the process of preparation for accreditation). Accreditation is provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Education programs are administered by CDCR's Office of Correctional Education (OCE).
New Achievements - Highlights
California Correctional Center Receives 2010 Best Practice Award from the California Department of Education
Academic courses through the 12th grade are available at 32 institutions. Standardized curricula aimed at achieving high school diplomas and General Education Development (GED) certificates include studies in English language, computation, analytical and critical thinking skills, and life skills.
Vocational Education Programs
Vocational education programs are also offered at several institutions to provide training so that upon release, inmates can find employment in trades such as construction, auto mechanics, computer technology, and cosmetology – resulting in national certification for certain trades. Upon re-entering society, inmates who have learned a trade are far less likely to return to a life of crime. CDCR has 15 different vocational trades that are taught within CDCR facilities, for a total of 179 programs statewide.
Classrooms and Distance Learning
Education is provided both in traditional classroom settings as well as through independent study and distance learning. Regular television programming is provided to enhance literacy and offer GED studies to inmates requiring basic education. Media centers can offer customized programming based on the needs of the inmate population.
Library and Volunteer Programs
Library services are also available for inmates who wish to conduct research. Some CDCR institutions also have community programs that provide volunteer instructors and tutors for teaching literacy.
Literacy Improvement Project
CDCR is developing measures to increase access to literacy for inmates functioning at or below a 6.9 grade level. This will ensure that offenders who leave prison are able to function on a job and in society. CDCR has been working to develop models for rehabilitative programming that reduce costs while maximizing inmate participation, including training long-term offenders to assist other inmates with one-on-one literacy tutoring. In 2010, Literacy Coordinators were added to all 33 institutions.
Key Performance Indicators, Correctional Education Programs
- Academic programs, enrollment
- Academic programs, utilization
- Academic programs, completions
- Vocational programs, enrollment
- Vocational programs, utilization
- Vocational programs, completions
Office of Correctional Education Links
- Innovations Inside
- Education Classes Offered at CDCR Adult Schools
- WASC Accreditation
- Why We Teach in Prison
- Not Coming Back: Education Reduces Recidivism
- The Opening Ceremony of "The College Dorm"(Short Version 4:58)
- The Opening Ceremony of "The College Dorm"(Long Version 23:36)
Rehabilitation Program Reductions/New Model FY 2009-10