In Search of Funding for Post-Secondary Prison Programs — FPI Scholarships

By George Hook

Again, I did not want to blow the whistle.  I just wanted to search for funding available to federal prisoners for post-secondary education courses.  While searching for post-secondary programs I also came upon this statement made by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in Bridges to Opportunity–Federal Adult Education Programs For the 21st Century Report to the President on Executive Order 13445, U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education, dated July 2008  as the only example of funding, at p.18:

“ProgramNationwide.  Federal Prison Industries (FPI) is a self-sustaining government corporation that awards scholarships for postsecondary study to selected, qualified inmates working in FPI factories. FPI allocates a portion of revenues generated from the sale of its products and services to federal agencies for the FPI scholarship program. Eligible inmates working at prison factories can take postsecondary or occupational training courses with accredited colleges, universities or technical schools.  Federal inmates are not eligible to receive Pell grants to fund postsecondary studies. The FPI scholarship program allows federal inmates the opportunity to take postsecondary or occupational training courses in order to acquire skills, degrees, or certificates that will enhance their post-release employability.

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Well Rounded Students: Acculturation and Critical Analysis (Part 2)

By Christopher Zoukis

With this encroaching ignorance in mind — an ignorance enhanced by steel gates and gun towers and all they represent — it is up to us as correctional educators to do what we can to protect our students.  We already do this by exposing them to the tools we have available to us: books and questions.  But there is still more to be done.  A 20-year-old social studies text isn’t going to do the trick.  Neither is an iron fist.  Our goal isn’t to force our students to do anything, but to sell the idea of education to them; to convince them.  And once they are convinced, we must facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

If we were to bring newspapers into our classrooms and to convince our students to read them — and enjoy them — this habit and skill would carry on outside of the classroom.  Hence, they would leave our classrooms with a true life skill which would enrich their lives and prepare them for success in a world in which the chow rotation doesn’t count as current events.

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