Bureau of Education

The Bureau of Education provides meaningful opportunities to incarcerated individuals, helping them better themselves and equipping them with competencies conducive to successful social reintegration. Offerings include, academic education, career and technical education (CTE), library services, transition programs, and services specific to special needs and youthful offender populations. The Bureau of Education also coordinates teacher certification for the Department’s correctional educators.

Academic Education

Academic education is the provision of traditional coursework (e.g. math, English, reading, science, social studies, etc.) to general and special populations through various programs. Students in academic education may work toward earning their high school diploma or equivalency, or may complete coursework for self-betterment. Academic education programs include adult basic education (ABE), mandatory literacy, GED® preparation, close management education, education for young adults and youthful offenders (Title I), special education services, voluntary literacy, and local education agency (LEA) programs.

Media Coverage of FDC Academic Education

WUFTWUFT
Diploma Dreams Become Reality For Inmates At Graduation
But on Friday, he fullfilled a dream she thought long dead. At the first college graduation inside a Florida prison, Wise graduated summa cum laude... read more...
Miami HeraldMiami Herald
Miami Dade College is hosting classes behind bars. Inmates get the best grades.
Some students in Samantha Carlo’s Introduction to Constitutional Law class know quite a bit more about the law than others. read more...

Career & Technical Education

CTE Logo

The Florida Department of Corrections provides 92 career and technical education (CTE) courses in 37 distinct vocational trades spanning 11 career clusters aligned to Florida’s in-demand occupations. Expansion of programs has been realized through contracted education partners that include state colleges, technical colleges, and community providers. Technical training, employability skill development and industry recognized credentialing are integrated into the CTE programs and ensure returning citizens are job-ready upon release. Carl D. Perkins Grant and Inmate Welfare Trust funds supplement CTE programming needs.

 

 

 

Media Coverage of FDC Career and Technical Education

The Florida ChannelThe Florida Channel
FDC Ongoing Partnership with Tallahassee Community College
Inmates at Jefferson Correctional Institution participate in the Electrical certification program as part of an ongoing partnership between the Florida Department of Corrections and Tallahassee Community College. Additional trade training programs that include Culinary, Masonry, Carpentry and Plumbing are provided by the College in several North Florida institutions. see the report starting at 23:45…
Valdosta TodayValdostaToday.com
Inmates Square Off in Masonry Competition
SANDERSON, Fl. — Inmates from across the state traveled to Baker Correctional Institution to compete in the first ever Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) inter-institutional inmate masonry competition... read more...
Santa Rosa Press GazetteSanta Rosa Press Gazette
Santa Rosa Correctional Institution awards 45 CDL certificates to inmates
The CDL program has been so successful that Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections Mark S. Inch and his staff made the trip to attend the ceremony. read more...
CDL Life NewsCDL Life News
45 Florida inmates complete CDL training behind bars
Dozen of inmates at a Florida prison were recognized for completing their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training at a recent graduation ceremony. read more...
Fleet OwnerFleet Owner
Getting inmates ready for the road
The most recent CDL graduation class at Florida’s Santa Rosa Correctional Institution included 45 men who had successfully completed the course. read more...
NorthEscambia.comNorthEscambia.com
Inmates Work Toward Their CDL Behind Bars
Inmates behind bars at one area prison are working toward heir commercial driver’s licenses. read more...

Community Transition Services

The Community Transition team partners with industry, reentry service providers, education providers, trade and professional associations, and workforce development providers to facilitate reentry services and employment for returning citizens and those under supervision in the community. Such partnerships are significantly important to the successful reintegration of justice-involved individuals back into society.

Industry engagement is a particular focus because research shows that the number one predictor of whether someone with a previous criminal conviction will reoffend is poverty. The effects that employment has on the reduction of recidivism are significant. A study by the United States Sentencing commission showed that if returning citizens can find work within one year of release, their recidivism rates are reduced by 40%. Nationally, recidivism rates range from 31 to 70%, while the recidivism rate for those placed in jobs shortly after their release range from 3.3-8%. For high-risk offenders who had a recidivism rate of 40.7%, those placed in jobs soon after release had a recidivism rate of 5%.

Florida Department of Corrections research shows that male inmates with employment set up when they leave prison have a 14% lower recidivism rate (page 11-12 of 25 in the pdf); and those in work release programs while in the Florida Department of Corrections system recidivate at a 13% rate compared the Florida’s overall 24% recidivism rate. Simply put, if individuals cannot survive making an honest living due to being denied opportunity, they will turn to illegal means.

Legal employment provides beneficial structure to one’s day, and access to peers who are positive influences. As a result, as a priority initiative, the Community Transition team is currently partnered with over 75 Second-Chance employer partners statewide, to connect returning citizens and offenders to employment pre-release. This initiative is known as the “Pre-Release Hiring Events” and since its inception during March of 2021, it has been successful in connecting over 800 formerly and currently incarcerated individuals to employment prior to their release. For the current calendar year (2022) the team has been given a strategic goal to connect 5% of the releasing population to employment pre-release.

Additionally, this department, which is housed within the Bureau of Education’s Workforce Development division, manages a statutorily mandated 100-Hour Employability/Life Skills program, currently known as “Compass 100”, which prepares inmates within their last 18 months of incarceration for successful employment and employment retention, to enable them to become productive and thriving members of the communities to which they will be returning. This program introduces its students to concepts such as career exploration, tools for job searching, job application and resume creation, job leads, interviewing, negotiating job offers, success on a new job, personal finance management, personal development (goal setting, life skills, etc.), and identifying community resources.

Moreover, the Community Transition team is utilizing technology, such as DTEN Zoom monitors, to connect returning citizens with employers and community providers of services for job interviews and service referrals and engagements, pre-release. Among the planned uses of this technology moving forward are workshop facilitation to inmates on such topics as explaining federal bonding to an employer, explaining a criminal background to an employer, mock interviews, development of an electronic portfolio, identification of housing and community resources such as SNAP and TANF, and navigating the Employ Florida Marketplace, the State’s workforce system.

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(Pictured is a virtual Pre-Release Hiring Event using DTEN Monitor Technology.)

Pre-Release Hiring Events have occurred at the following facilities to date:

Tallahassee Community Release Center

Gadsden Re-Entry Center

Santa Rosa Correctional Institution

Jefferson Correctional Institution

Okaloosa Workcamp

Apalachee Correctional Institution

Martin Correctional Institution

Sago Palm Re-Entry Center

Turning Point Community Release Center

Polk Correctional Institution

Hamilton Correctional Institution

Circuit 9 Probation & Parole

Lancaster Correctional Institution

Baker Correctional Institution (pre-close)

Columbia Correctional Institution

Tomoka Correctional Institution

Franklin Correctional Institution

Apalachee Correctional Institution West

Cross City Correctional Institution

Lawtey Correctional Institution

Central Florida Reception Center East

Florida Women’s Reception Center

Charlotte Correctional Institution

Everglades Correctional Institution

Kissimmee Community Release Center

Re-Entry Alliance of Pensacola

Northwest Florida Reception Center

Reentry Alliance Pensacola

Holmes Correctional Institution

Gulf Correctional Institution

Jackson Correctional Institution

Everglades Re-Entry Center

South Florida Reception Center

Okeechobee Correctional Institution

Opa Locka Work Release Center

Hamilton Correctional Institution Annex

Sumter Correctional Institution

Mayo Correctional Institution

Baker Re-Entry Center

Suwannee Correctional Institution

Taylor Correctional Institution

Madison Correctional Institution

Apalachee Correctional Institution East

Sumter Work Camp

Mayo Correctional Institution

Lake Correctional Institution

Homestead Correctional Institution

South Florida Reception Center Main

Martin Work Camp

St. Petersburg Community Release Center

Finally, the Community Transition team utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to release planning using a data-informed structure to conduct release planning that includes multiple disciplines within Florida’s correctional institutions, focused on transition planning. This initiative is known as the “Multi-Disciplinary Transition Team”.

Transition Team

(Pictured is a Multi-Disciplinary Transition Team Meeting at Everglades Re-Entry Center)

Team Composition

Canine Obedience Training

Through collaborative partnerships between the Florida Department of Corrections and various animal service organizations, the Department operates numerous Canine Obedience Training Programs throughout the State. These programs are intended to increase the adoptability of the canines and provide inmates with job skills beneficial upon release. During the training period, dogs receive socialization and are taught basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come and to walk by your side without pulling on the leash. Participating inmates can earn up to four credentials by successfully demonstrating competencies learned in the program.

These programs vary between eight weeks to up to 18 months. To locate the program closest to you, click the county listing and contact the service provider for information about dogs available for adoption.

Higher Education in Prison (HEP) Programs

As part of the United States Department of Education’s Second Chance Experimental Site Initiative which offers Pell grant funds to incarcerated individuals, the Florida Department of Corrections is committed to working with three (3) of Florida’s renowned colleges and universities, Florida Gateway College, Miami-Dade College, and Palm Beach State College, as well as Ashland University out of Ashland, Ohio, to offer accredited, credit-bearing Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in six (6) institutions throughout the state. Through a variety of instructional platforms to include face-to-face, virtual, and online learning platforms, the Department is expanding high-quality educational opportunities to individuals in its custody and care. Research shows that postsecondary education can reduce recidivism and increase employability and earnings for returning citizens. For more information about these programs and eligibility requirements, please click here.

Library Services

Library Services

The FDC offers general library and law library services at all major institutions. General Library services include many of the same services found in public libraries. Law Library Services facilitate legally mandated inmate access to courts in accordance with important state and federal case law, as well as Florida statutes.

Bureau Chief

Gwen Brock

  • Bureau of Education
    • Academic Education
    • Career & Technical Education
    • Community Transition Services
    • Canine Obedience Training
    • Higher Education in Prison (HEP)
    • Library Services