Senator Seeks Insight on Prison Education Program

Image courtesy Nate Smith | Herald-Press
Image courtesy Nate Smith | Herald-Press

By Jennifer Sheridan

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn visited the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony to see how the prisoners are receiving education and college credits during their sentence.

The education is provided by Trinity Valley Community College educators and prisoners are able to get GEDs, vocational skills and associate degrees to benefit them after they are released from prison.

Windham School District officials said all of the prisoners go through an educational diagnostic when they enter the prison. Most prisoners were said not to have above a fifth grade reading level. The officials wanted to get the literacy rate to a higher level. Windham is the district that teaches all incarcerated students.

Cornyn took a look in different classrooms at Coffield. He was taken to a history class that was being taught by video. Each of the students had textbooks, paper and pens to study and take notes in the class. The instructor, Ella Green a retired teacher from the Palestine Independent School District, said all of her classes were taught over the internet by an instructor of remote learning.

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