The Center for Prison Outreach and Education

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy cpoe.pages.tcnj.edu

The Center for Prison Outreach and Education is an extension of the College of New Jersey.  The program is designed for local prison populations.  Faculty members from the college teach classes to inmates in order improve their lives and reduce the possibility of recidivism.  As the program’s website asserts, “Research indicates that inmates who participate in educational programs behind bars are less likely to recidivate, and more likely to become productive members of society upon their release. It is the Center’s goal to make this transformation a possibility through the offering of credit-bearing courses as well as other forms of academic tutoring and enrichment to those living behind bars.”

To that end, the Center for Prison Outreach and Education has worked to secure funding to continue its important work which is ultimately to facilitate higher education in prisons.

College for Prison Inmates

The program for inmates is delivered by professional instructors who deliver courses that vary widely.  Inmates take courses alongside other College of New Jersey students who enroll in the prison classes.  This sets the program apart from other prison-based programs; the added dimension of mixing ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ students has had a positive impact on both sets of students.  Inmates receive college credit for the classes they pass.  All classes are academically standard; that is, all students are held to the same standards and requirements of the coursework. Now that the program’s funding allows, inmates have the opportunity to work toward their Associate Degree in Business Management.

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