This spring, Las Positas College’s Adult Education Project will bring seven college courses to women inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute prison in Dublin.
While not earning college credits, inmates who complete the seven nine-hour courses over 16 weeks will be eligible to receive to “career certificates” — customer service and small business management — in the fall.
Kristina Whalen, the Livermore college’s vice president of academic services, said:
“These courses complement and expand their existing educational program, since many of the inmates/students will leave FCI and work in the service industry.”
“Through our partnership they will also leave with important skills and a credential that will increase employability.”
The Adult Education Project was conceived when its manager at Las Positas reached out to Loanne Tran, the federal prison’s educational director. Officials from the college and the prison then met several times to discuss how the project could be implemented. They explored the Las Positas class catalog courses that could help the inmates and had faculty interested in teaching, including Las Positas business Professor Drew Patterson, tour the prison.
“We strongly believe that if given an opportunity, this segment of our society will be a productive part of the workforce.”
The initial spring 2020 cohort of LPC’s Inmate Education Project will serve as a pilot program that LPC hopes to build upon in the future.
Whalen said reputable studies show nearly half of all people released from federal prisons are rearrested within a short time of their release. When those people have jobs, she said, the recidivism rate shrinks significantly.
“Our partnership furthers the objective of getting career opportunities to those already facing a serious hurdle to employment.”