Recognizing the importance of education in helping reduce recidivism, the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) provides a variety of educational services to prison inmates. The WDOC is committed to providing quality educational and vocational programs to assist the incarcerated individuals to become responsible members of the family, workforce, and community upon release.
- Adult Basic Education (ABE) and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) Preparation Program. The ABE Program provides instruction for those inmates who do not have a verified high school diploma or GED to enable them to successfully prepare for and pass the GED test. All inmates are screened at intake and referred to the Education Department if they do not have a high school diploma or GED. Inmates who need additional assistance to improve their skills are encouraged to attend.
- Vocational Education Programs. The Wyoming Department of Corrections provides vocational education instruction to inmates with an identified need. The vocational education programs are designed to train inmates for jobs in the free world to assist with employment upon release. These vocational training programs are often coordinated with the WDOC’s industries programs in order to provide inmates an opportunity to practice learned skills prior to release. Education and case managers work together to identify the appropriate program for identified inmates. Some vocational training may be college credit or linked to an apprenticeship program. The education program works closely with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, contractors and trade associations to assist inmates with job placement after release.
- Special Education Program. Pursuant to federal statutes, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), WDOC provides educational services to minors adjudicated as adults and sentenced to prison. Also, falling under this act are inmates younger than 22 years of age and inmates who have disabilities which may impede their progress in standard educational classrooms.
- English Language Learners. Inmates whose primary language is not English are provided an opportunity to attend ELL classes and improve their English language skills.
- Pre Release. Education and case managers work together to provide pre release classes to better prepare inmates for successful release. The areas addressed are life skills, job search skills, employability/sustainability, financial management, transitional issues, social services, and health issues.
- PRI Grant. The Prisoner Reentry Grant is funded by the federal government until December 2010 to assist inmates in preparing for release. WDOC will provide programming and college courses or vocational training for eligible inmates at the Wyoming Women’s Center and Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp and Wyoming Boot Camp. Post release training, mentoring, employment support and other services are coordinated through a faith based community organization.
- Career Readiness Certificate: WDOC Education Department is working in a collaborative effort with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services to offer additional training for inmates to improve their work skills and take the CRC assessment.
- The Career Readiness Certification Initiative is a statewide program designed to foster economic and workforce development in the state of Wyoming. The Career Readiness Certificate, powered by WorkKeys®, a product of ACT, Inc., is a nationally-recognized credential which denotes that the holder possesses the fundamental skills required to achieve success in the workplace and become a productive, valuable employee. Go to http://www.wyomingworkforce.org/crc/ for more information.
Educational Attainment of Inmates (as of 7/1/2009)
- 78.3% entered the Wyoming Department of Corrections with a GED or high school diploma
- 80% of our male inmates leave prison with a high school diploma or GED
- Average reading grade level is 8.6
- 85.5% entered the Wyoming Department of Corrections with a GED or high school diploma
- 88% of our female inmates leave prison with a high school diploma or GED
- Average reading grade level is 9.2
Male and Female Inmates
- 88% of all inmates without a high school diploma or GED completed their GED in 2008