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Currently and Formerly Incarcerated

The Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Unit of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office is dedicated to building and maintaining partnerships among the state’s community colleges, selected four-year educational institutions and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  The California community colleges have a long history of serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students through regular and long-distance education.  Current efforts to assist the state’s incarcerated and formerly incarcerated population resulted from two key pieces of legislation: Senate Bill 1391 (2014), and Proposition 57 (2016).  As of fall 2017, 22 community colleges are providing instruction and student support services to more than 7,000 students in the state’s 35 prisons. 

SB 1391 (Hancock) introduced an opportunity for community colleges and state prisons to coordinate the offering of face-to-face instruction in programs that lead toward degrees or certificates that result in enhanced workforce skills.  Concomitantly, the passage of the popular criminal justice reform initiative, Proposition 57, “Incentivizes inmates to take responsibility for their own rehabilitation with credit-earning opportunities for sustained good behavior, as well as in-prison program and activities participation.”

Over the years, the costs for housing a prisoner in California have risen significantly.  Since 2005, the cost for housing a prisoner has doubled and continue to grow, surging by approximately 13% since 2015.  According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, published June 4, 2017, recent cost expectations in this area exceed $75,000 per year per prisoner; more than the cost to attend Harvard University.  It makes a good deal of sense to implement initiatives and other legal provisions that reduce these costs with the added bonus of further educating this population and making our communities safer.

There are significant numbers of studies that demonstrate that providing and supporting continuing education for the incarcerated produce benefits that go beyond the needs and motives of the individual and address those of the larger, general society as well.  The work of the Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Education Unit continues to focus upon serving colleges and students to provide technical assistance and leadership that can contribute to the successful formation of partnerships in education and rehabilitation.

Inmate Education Pilot Programs

Pursuant to Senate Bill 1391 (Hancock), the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) have entered into an Interagency Agreement for inmate education to expand access to community college courses that lead to degrees or certificates with an emphasis in Career Technical Education (CTE) skills or transfer to a four-year university.  

Four pilot programs were selected: Antelope Valley, Chaffey, Folsom Lake, and Lassen. Districts were eligible to apply if one (or more) of the identified CDCR 13 Reentry Hubs is located within the college district boundaries.



   Contact Information  

Raul Arambula
Dean, Intersegmental Support

Leslie LeBlanc
Specialist, Intersegmental Support


Pilot Program Forms

  • Calendar of Key Dates [pdf] or [Word]
  • Scoring Criteria [pdf] or [Word]
  • Special Terms and Conditions [pdf] or [Word]

The Advisory Corner

  • Prospective Students [pdf]
  • SB 1391 Bill [pdf]
  • College Directory [pdf]