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Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 11-14-2018, 08:53 AM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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Default Federal GED program and other education programming

My husband is getting out of Federal Prison at the end of January. He is a GED tutor in a camp and has really enjoyed it. His camp changed the structure of the program since he started teaching about 8 months ago and they've had tremendous success. Last year they only had 4 students pass, this year they had something like 16 pass. Once a student passes their GED they receive a $25 bonus. For those that have no money coming in, this is considered a lot, but ultimately, it really isn't and that's a shame. They should do more to encourage these guys to earn their GEDs.

We have always been charitable in some fashion - donation money and/or volunteering our time. He has told me when he gets out he wants to give back and do something for prisoners.

He talked to his Education CO who he really likes about some ideas he has about coming back into the prison as a civilian (I think that call it "out" program or something like that) and come to speak to the prisoners and give seminars about aspects of life once out, and things to do when out, but also teaching a shortened version of the class he teaches (not the GED class but the class he teaches at night there just because he felt like it) at night to also help people navigate their way for out or in prison to help with things. I am wondering if anyone has every gone back and done anything like this?

He also wants to establish some sort of scholarship to be given once or twice a year, to an outstanding GED student. This goes in line with the $25 not really making much of a dent but that how he has seen some of these guys work so damn hard and how with the help of the CO who he actually trusts, these guys can apply for this scholarship, and not only would this encourage more guys to actually care about getting their GEDs (since many there don't bother) but really make a difference in some of these guys lives. For those of you that have felt the GED has really made a difference (or not) I am curious what you think of this? He was thinking of maybe something like $1,000/year.

The CO loved the idea, and there would be some hoops to jump through as a felon coming to the prison, I think he would have to get a different status, etc. but thinks it could be done.

Because it's not that close, he would go back maybe 2x/year. Not that he wants to go back to that hell hole, but this experience has changed him and he 100% wants to help people as much as he can. Help them get on the right foot outside of prison, even if it's not financial, but just by giving them some of the tools to succeed. Or, even things you need to do while in prison and how to do them, without having to hire a prison consultant to do it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:56 AM
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I'm always surprised when I find myself praising California corrections, however-- because they have good time, inmates earn credits which equate to time off their sentence for working on their education. That includes attending and passing GED and college courses. It's not monetary, but I think most of them would take the two weeks to six months off their sentence and it saves the department money instead of costing them $25 a pop.

I know the rules here are pretty tight about inmates returning to facilities even as visitors. There have been opportunities for me to volunteer with some of the self-help programs but the stipulation was that I wouldn't be permitted as a volunteer inside a facility he was currently housed in or had recently been housed in. Maybe it would be an option for him to volunteer at another BOP facility if he hits that barrier.

I'm glad to hear his time garnered a new avenue for assisting others. Best of luck to him in making the connections happen.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by miamac View Post
I'm always surprised when I find myself praising California corrections, however-- because they have good time, inmates earn credits which equate to time off their sentence for working on their education. That includes attending and passing GED and college courses. It's not monetary, but I think most of them would take the two weeks to six months off their sentence and it saves the department money instead of costing them $25 a pop.

I know the rules here are pretty tight about inmates returning to facilities even as visitors. There have been opportunities for me to volunteer with some of the self-help programs but the stipulation was that I wouldn't be permitted as a volunteer inside a facility he was currently housed in or had recently been housed in. Maybe it would be an option for him to volunteer at another BOP facility if he hits that barrier.

I'm glad to hear his time garnered a new avenue for assisting others. Best of luck to him in making the connections happen.
Ironically, I actually thought of you and what you've said in the past about how the GED tutors are such a help to some of the guys in there. I agree that the better incentive would be to give them more time off. We have wondered why they don't do something like this and even wonder why they don't offer anything to the tutors themselves when they're successful. They even had a whole graduation "ceremony" a few months ago where the GED students were able to invite their families and someone flew in from the BOP and they got cake. Lol. My husband said the cake was awesome. They did that in the visiting room and for some of these guys it was the first time they had ever been in the VR. But the tutors are also doing a better job than in the best and don't get any kind of positive reinforcement. Doesn't have to be any extra pay, but something to say, "hey, you're doing a great job" would be nice. Instead the facility just gets more money when someone passes the test, and their numbers go up, etc. but nothing for the "teachers". As a former teacher myself, it can be demoralizing. But, the CO was really receptive and my husband spent today writing up the proposal so we'll see how that goes. The scholarship is only to be given for a certain purpose, but obviously there would have to be follow through too, because if there isn't, then that's another issue altogether!

I guess we'll see if anything pans out of if the CO is just an idealist like my husband!
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:31 PM
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The graduation ceremonies are a huge hit here, as well. I went to my husband's and it was the first time I felt as though we were treated like "normal" people. They had a photographer, gowns, a guest speaker. It was very nice. And the tutors were a part of it. They have a special section behind the grads and they are acknowledged during the ceremony. I believe they are able to earn credits, as well, but I'm not certain. They should as they do the bulk of actual instruction. The three teachers they have are primarily middle management, which is unfortunate because they are really dedicated folks.
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