Since approximately 48% of incarcerated individuals do not have a high school diploma or equivalent at intake, it is important to make educational programming available to those that are incarcerated, individuals released to community supervision, or placed on probation. Correctional education programs help break the cycle of criminal behavior by providing the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed while incarcerated and post-release.
Effective programs focus on helping develop problem solving and decision-making skills that can be put into practice be productive citizens and improving public safety. Education for individuals sentenced to the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) will start with an assessment by designated personnel. Academic education begins with literacy classes for elementary levels, and continues through the high school level focusing on the subjects of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and, social studies in order to build a foundation for their social and job life skills. It is the goal of DPS&C to work with each participant to become a responsible, productive, member of the community. The DPS&C provides educational opportunities in the areas of:
Literacy classes are offered to those who score below a National Reporting System (NRS) Level 3 on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) 11/12 in the areas of Reading and Language, and an NRS Level 2 or greater in Math. Participants receive instruction in the areas of basic reading, mathematics, and language. Upon scoring at or above an NRS Level 3 in reading and language, and an NRS of 2 or greater in Math on a Level E TABE 11/12, the participant is considered to have completed the Literacy program, and is then afforded the opportunity to advance to the HSE-Prep program.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Developmental Studies classes are provided in conjunction with the HiSET and High School Equivalency-Prep. These classes are offered to participants who have earned their High School Diploma (HSD) or HSE diploma, but need to improve their reading and math scores in order to enroll in a post-secondary program. Completion of ABE requires an M Level TABE 11/12 with an NRS Level 4 in all subjects (reading, math, and language).
HiSET or High School Equivalency – Prep classes are offered to participants who have a National Reporting System (NRS) Level 3 or greater on the TABE 11/12 in all subject areas, and have never earned a HSD or HSE. Participants receive instruction in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. Once the participant meets the required scores on an M Level TABE 11/12 test or more advanced level TABE, they are given the Official HiSET Practice Test (OPT). If the participant scores “prepared” or “well-prepared” on the OPT they are afforded the opportunity to take the necessary sub-tests (5) to earn a HSE diploma.
Special education services are offered to participants under the age of 25 who meet the criteria for any state special education program. These special education services are provided by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) – Special School District (SSD). An Individual Evaluation Plan (IEP) is required for each special education student. The IEP is completed through a series of tests and evaluations conducted by a team of specialists called the School Building Level Committee (SBLC). A state-certified special education teacher provides all participants with individualized or small group instruction, as required by the LDOE. If determined appropriate by the SBLC, special education participants may also be mainstreamed into a regular LIT, ABE/Developmental Studies, or HSE-Prep program.
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