Inmate and Re-Entry Education
Notes from our incarcerated students:
order for education, let alone college education, to have the impact on one’s
life, we as a society must look upon a prisoner obtaining an education the same
as an abiding citizen.”
as a tool…evokes those values that are at the heart of what it truly means to
be human. I am referring specifically to compassion for the less fortunate, self-sacrifice
to aid another, and a love grounded in an ethic that seeks to empower even as
it strives to heal.”
California Community College system is the largest system of higher education in the nation, with 2.1 million students attending 113 community colleges. Our campuses are poised in providing students with the knowledge and relevant background necessary to compete in today’s economy. Inclusive in today’s economy is the plight of justice involved students within our higher education system. In recent years, there has been a robust reform movement for the advancement of education for the incarcerated student. In response, current legislation Senate Bill 1391 has provided significant support in this movement.
During recent site visits it was determined that inmate education processes are hard a work providing face-to-face instruction to those incarcerated in at least 30 of our California State prisons. What was also discovered that not unlike the pilot program participants, community colleges such as Bakersfield, Coastline, College of the Canyons, College of the Redwoods, Columbia, Cerro Coso, Cuesta, Feather River, Hartnell, Imperial Valley, Lake Tahoe, Shasta, Solano, Southwestern, Taft and West Hills, (list is not exclusive) have taken leadership roles in response to this educational movement by providing face-to-face instruction with California prisons.
Noteworthy functional success of these efforts, facilitated by SB 1391, provides for a partnership with one of the largest prison systems in the world, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation with California Community Colleges. Two of the largest service systems nationwide have joined resources significantly impacting the lives of our student target population.
Significant impacts are not limited to current inter-agency successes. But acknowledge all the special interest groups and stakeholders also committed to this movement. Therefore, the Chancellor’s office would like to recognize a few of those entities, including but not limited to the: VERA Institute; Opportunity Institute; Digiality; Prison University Project; MPM Consulting; and our own Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI).
This department will also be committed to further developmental support and overall program sustainability not only within face-to-face instruction but for transitional, re-entry components on community college campuses.
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.