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By Kristina Hall
Texas is a big state. And within this big state with a big heart is the Windham School District, which provides academic and vocational education to eligible offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDJC).
The Windham School District strongly believes that prison education is the key to reducing recidivism. The District extends that belief by providing appropriate educational programming and services that meet the needs of the eligible offender population incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. TDJC believes that education helps offenders become responsible and productive members of their own communities as well as society as a whole.
By educating prisoners, the Windham School District hopes to:
•Reduce the cost of confinement and imprisonment;
•Increase the success of inmates maintaining employment upon release; and
•Provide an incentive for offenders to behave in positive ways during imprisonment.
Interestingly enough, of the 90-correctional facilities that the Windham School District serves within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, most of the literacy program participants attend 15 hours per week and the vocational training participants attend up to 30 hours per week. This statement shows that inmate participants are excited and willing to learn to better themselves, not only while incarcerated, but upon release, too.