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 and by providing appropriate educational programming and services that meet the needs of the eligible offender population incarcerated within  the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, education helps offenders become responsible and productive  members of their own community as well as society as a whole.

“coping with these challenges requires adults to employ educational processes that are the basic tools of human growth and development.”

 

By educating prisoners, the Windham School District hopes to:

 

  • Reduce recidivism
  • Reduce the cost of confinement or imprisonment
  • Increase the success of inmates maintaining employment upon release
  • Incentive for offenders to behave in positive ways during imprisonment

 

Interesting enough, of the 90 correctional facilities that the Windham School District serves with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, most of the literacy program participants attended 15 hours per week and the vocational training participants attend up to 30 hours per week. This statement says that inmate participants are excited and willingly to learn to better themselves, not only while incarcerated, but mostly upon release. 

 To be eligible for the Windham School District program within the Texas Department Criminal Justice, inmates must first be screened for the appropriate classes that are available, in regards to age, gender, race and ethnicity.

Academic programs include classes such as; English as a Second Language, Reading, Cognitive Intervention, Parenting and Perspectives and Solutions. Several occupational and vocational courses are taught as well and include Auto Specialization and several Apprenticeship Programs. Participants are also eligible to use some of these courses for continuing education programs for tow-year, four-year, graduate college and vocational college credits.

The Windham School District was founded in 1969 by the Texas State Legislature to provide educational programming for offenders in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The The Windham School District is committed to improving the quality of programs offered to the inmate/students as well as constantly improving education standards.

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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  1. mle@prisonviews.com on November 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Windham does do great work when they are properly funded. FY 2012, beginning last Sept., funding was cut dramatically. Thousands on a waiting list to get into a class. Most vocation programs cut back or cut out completely.



  2. Prison Education on November 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    We are really sorry to hear that funding has been cut 🙁 It is such a vital program–hopefully they will be able to find a fresh source of funding. Thanks for the information!



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