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The Work of Adult Education in California State Prisons

Posted on 10/29/2018

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If you are considering work in the adult education field, take a look at job opportunities in the corrections system. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Correctional Education offers various academic programs to inmates in the state’s prison facilities to provide education and career training in order to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. OCE offers ABE, HSD and HSE, and CTE programs, similar to those found at adult education agencies across the state.

OCE has developed a webpage with information on teacher, vocational instructor, and librarian positions within the system. Resources are also available for those not familiar with the work environment. Contrary to the way prison life is portrayed in the media, prison facilities are carefully organized and the safety of employees is paramount. The OCE webpage with employment information is here: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Rehabilitation/OCE/hiring.html External link opens in new window or tab

One of the particular challenges with prison life is the use of technology or lack thereof, given the restrictions on technology devices that would enable inmates to connect with others outside the prison facility. Technology that is becoming commonplace in adult ed agencies is nonexistent in prisons or its use is tightly restricted. Education providers are exploring ways, though, to bring technology into prisons, and some uses of technology, including eReaders and law library kiosks, are described on this CDCR Technology Solutions webpage: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/technology.html External link opens in new window or tab

There are also devices like RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) that can be loaded with content found on popular, well-traveled Internet websites and brought into prisons so inmates have access to up-to-date information in their classes. OTAN has created a training on RACHEL if you would like to learn more about this device. In our upcoming OTAN fall newsletter, we also will be profiling some innovative programs happening in correctional facilities across the state.

Adult education is needed in all corners of California, including among incarcerated populations. Consider the job possibilities in our state prisons to make a difference.