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During the past ten years, over 20,000 students have received either a high school diploma or GED equivalency while incarcerated. A total of 13,000 have earned literacy certificates.
Learn more about the OCSS Academic
During the past ten years over 14,800 inmates have completed Career-Technical (vocational) training in over 87 separate institutional training programs, recognized by the Ohio Department of Education. A majority of the programs offer license or certifications, which are issued by state boards or nationally recognized organizations. Learn more about the OCSS Career-Technical Programs.
Advanced Job Training (AJT) participation provides qualified inmate students with coursework specifically designed to enhance employability upon release. During the previous ten years, over 7,000 inmates have received certificates of completion in advanced job training programs.
Over 2,500 apprentices have earned either a 50% or 100% certificate from the US Department of Labor in the last ten years. Apprenticeship programs use qualified volunteer prison staff members to supervise and train inmate apprentices in vocations that enhance employability skills.
Each DRC institution provides library services to their inmate population. Most libraries provide print, audio, and video materials as part of their services. The inmates use the libraries in the institution in excess of 1,100,000 visits this past year. Each main library and many camp libraries have Ohio Reentry Connections computers for the inmates to use to begin their job search prior to release. They can look at various jobs that are being offered and put a resume together that will be available the day after they are released for the employers to view. These computers have programs to practice typing, financial literacy programs, learning to use the mouse, and the Ohio Career Information System. These services work together to help the inmate user become familiar with computers and using the computers so they will be up-to-date with technology and be able to find jobs upon release. Learn more about the OCSS Library Services.
The Ohio Central School System encourages professional development by establishing Local Professional Development Committees and implementing Entry Year Programs as required by the Ohio Department of Education. These programs are designed for beginning teachers, principals, and guidance counselors. Last year, 25 staff members completed these programs.
The Transitional Education Program (TEP) is a reentry initiative that uses a unique three-tier approach to transmitting transitional programming through technology to both currently incarcerated offenders preparing for release and to former offenders achieving success in the community.
Distance Learning sites are available in 18 of the 32 prisons throughout the state. The distance education environment that these sites provide augments the classroom by directing faculty to expanded opportunities. The varied resources place OCSS as the premier correctional distance education program in the country.
The Ohio Central School System has extended its charter to support community education initiatives within four entities: Community-Based Correctional Facilities, Community Justice Adult Basic Education Centers, Private Prisons, and the Hamilton County Justice Center. OCSS provides these organizations with assistance in technology, teacher licensure, program accreditation, and professional development opportunities for staff.
The Reading Room program features the Department's own Jumpy the Kangaroo book series. The Ohio Central School System has created and distributed over 37,000 copies of the Jumpy series books to children in the visiting rooms. In addition to the books, inmate narrators have read over 40,000 hours of children's stories to visiting children.
The OCSS Quality Assurance Office is responsible for the development and review of all education policies, procedures, and Ohio Standards. OCSS is the only department within DRC that has a formal internal audit during each year of the audit cycle.
The Education Intensive Program Prison (EIPP) is a 90-day release intensive education-based program currently in place at the North Central Correctional Institution, the Ohio Reformatory for Women, and the Northeast Pre-Release Center. EIPP focuses on the "Employability/Education" dynamic domain of the reentry philosophy.
The Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) is the inmate education achievement test that the Ohio Central School System uses to determine school placement. OCSS believes CASAS is a more appropriate assessment instrument for reentry goals than one which provides grade level scores. Each year over 20,000 CASAS surveys are administered at the three DRC reception centers for initial placement, and over 35,000 CASAS tests are given annually for advanced placement at parent institutions.
Offender Workforce Development is designed to enhance opportunities for successful employment and retention of returning citizens. Activities prepare offenders for employment and the job search process. Training, education, and technical support are also offered to community-action organizations, job developers, one-stop centers, and other state agencies providing services to former offenders seeking to obtain and maintain sustainable employment.
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