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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228208 Find in a Library
Title: Expanding Distance Learning Access in Prisons: A Growing Need
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:4  Dated:August 2009  Pages:40-43
Author(s): Carl Nink; Rob Olding; Jo Jorgenson; Melisa Gilbert
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 4
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues for the expanded use of online postsecondary education in correctional settings under appropriate security parameters, because it is a cost-effective way to educate inmates for jobs in an economy in which 78 percent of all jobs in the year 2014 will require a postsecondary education.
Abstract: It is urgent that prisons establish pilot programs of online education for inmates. Such programs should ensure that the system is secure, and strategies for promoting online education for inmates should calm the fears of corrections administrators and public policymakers about inmate abuse of Internet access. Successful pilot programs of online inmate education should be publicized, so that the features of successful programs will be replicated. One such program exists in Arizona. In July 2008, the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) began working with the Rio Salado College in Maricopa County to develop a plan for online delivery of instructional services to confined juveniles. The use of technology and the Internet has enabled ADJC to offer higher education to its confined juvenile population statewide, minimizing the costs associated with onsite classes and full-time instructors. At the onset, ADJC’s information technology experts developed firewalls to limit students’ access to the college’s online learning system and library services. Rio Salado College teams also provided the necessary Web URLs for student access to materials hosted outside of the college’s network. Additionally, the college restricted e-mail access so students could only receive e-mail from their instructors. A new system was created to audit student e-mail communications. For the students enrolled at each of the statewide facilities, computer labs are available during specific times of the day for online class activity. ADJC staff monitor the classrooms and online activity at all times. 11 notes
Main Term(s): Correctional education programs
Index Term(s): Arizona; Computer aided instruction; Computer aided operations; Higher education; Juvenile correctional education; Juvenile educational services; Juvenile inmates
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