Proposal to allow Inmates to receive Educational Books


I................................................................................ Summary. 3

II......................................................................... Introduction.. 4

III.................................................................... Needs/Problems. 5

IV.................................................................. Goals/Objectives. 5

V............................................................... Procedures/Scope of Work. 6

VI.......................................................................................... Key Personnel. 6

vII............................................................................ Evaluation.. 6

VIII........................................................................................ Next Steps. 7

IX................................................................................. Appendix. 8

 


I.             Summary

This proposal addresses the issue of inmates receiving verifiably educational and vocational books through their property or through the mail. 

The Education division of Inmate Programs strives to make every effort to give inmates all the educational and vocational training available to them.  If the texts allowed are restricted to those that verified to be part of a current college curriculum, and the inmate can verify enrollment, or the texts are verifiably the current copy of vocational manuals, this should alleviate problems with inmates trying to acquire prohibited materials.

The education division of the Inmate Programs department will verify that the books are valid textbooks that have been adopted by the Academic institution in which the inmate is enrolled, or will verify that the manual is the current, or a reasonably recent manual for the vocational study in which the inmate is engaged.


II.          Introduction

The education section of the Inmate Programs Department was created to reinstate our GED, Literacy, and Vocational programs in order to reduce recidivism and help decrease crime rates.  To do this, it is imperative that we provide all valid forms of educational material to the inmates to allow them to develop skills that will help them become a functioning part of the community.

Mission Statement:  The goal of the Educational portion of the Inmate Programs Department is to provide educational, literacy, and vocational services to inmates in an effort to increase self esteem, and motivation, and enhance their ability to reenter the workforce, and discover alternatives to their current lifestyles.

In order to achieve this goal, the Education division of Inmate Programs would like to provide inmates all the educational and vocational training available to them.  If inmates are allowed to have texts either brought and placed in their property, or mailed to them from a school or publishing company, we can begin to address vocational issues that we will be unable to address otherwise for some time to come simply because the educational section is just now in development after a five year lapse. 


III.       Needs

At one time, Denton County had a very strong education and rehabilitation program; however, Denton County has had no structured educational or vocational training for five years, and it will take time to reinstate the programs, purchase the materials, and staff the programs with volunteers, in addition to meeting correctional educational standards that will enable us to qualify for grants for additional future funding.  .  This has an impact not only on the inmate population as they continue to cycle through the jail repeatedly, but also on the community as our crime rate continues to climb.  The number of criminal cases filed through June of 2008 was 6820.  The number of criminal cases filed through June of 2009 is 7089, for an increase of 269 in just the first six months of the year.

According to the Detention Manual, “Academic and vocational education programs . . . are provided to meet inmate training and educational needs to the fullest extent possible within the limits of facility and community resource.  Procedures are established concerning academic and vocational education programming for detention facility inmates.” (Detention Manual Ch. 27)

At the same time, Texas Administrative Code Title 37 Part 9 Chapter 287 Rule #287.1 Texas Commission on Jail Standards Education and Rehabilitation Programs states that

Each facility shall have and implement a written plan, approved by the Commission, for inmate rehabilitation and education. The plan shall make maximum use of the resources available in and to the community in which the facility is located. The plan should include programs for voluntary participation by inmates such as:

Ÿ  Testing and counseling in connection with:

o   (A) vocational rehabilitation;

o   (B) academic and vocational aptitudes and goals;

o   (C) job placement . . .

Ÿ  Participating in an academic, reading, and/or training program where feasible and where community resources are available.  (Administrative Code Rule 287.1)

The educational division of Inmate Programs is just beginning to re-establish programs to address these issues, and this development will be ongoing for some time to come as we work to meet the needs of the inmates, to help them become productive citizens, and the standards of the Correctional Education Association.


IV.     Objectives

While Denton County’s own educational programs are in development, one way we can address the issue of vocational and higher education is to allow inmates to have vocational and educational books brought or sent to them from outside the jail.

If the texts allowed are restricted to those that have been verified as part of a current college curriculum, and the inmate can verify enrollment, or the texts are verifiably a current or recent copy of vocational manuals, this should alleviate problems with inmates trying to acquire prohibited materials.

Goals:

o   Goal 1—Enable Denton County to provide this information to inmates while our own programs are still in development

o   Goal 2 – Enable inmates to have access to higher education

o   Goal 3 – Enable inmates to have access to vocational training

 

V.         Procedures

The educational division will contact the school or program that uses the textbook or manual to verify that the text or manual is currently being used, or is an acceptable alternative for the program or class.  The educational division will also verify that the only content in the book is the content that came from the publisher.  Employee volunteers and outside volunteers will at times verify these books, but only under my supervision.

 

 

VI.     Key Personnel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VII.  Evaluation

Once we have a Re-entry/Life Skills program is in place, we will be able to track the progress of the inmates even after they leave, and until then, progress can be determined through decreased recidivism and an increased success rate for probationers.

VIII.                  Next Steps

The only action necessary from anyone but the education division is approval of the process outlined in this proposal

o    Inmate receives text book or manual through their property or through the mail

o    Education section verifies validity of material, and enrollment in class, if applicable

o    Material is directed to inmates


IX.     Appendix

Appendix A: DENTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE DETENTION MANUAL CHAPTER 27

Appendix B:  Texas Administrative Code Title 37 Part 9 Chapter 287 Rule #287.1