Bureau Literacy Program

Program Description The Literacy Program is designed to help inmates develop foundational knowledge and skill in reading, math, and written expression, and to prepare inmates to get a General Educational Development (GED) credential. The completion of the Literacy Program is often only the first step towards adequate preparation for successful post-release reintegration into society.
Time Frame Depending on student needs, students participate in literacy classes for a varied length of time. Literacy classes are scheduled Monday through Friday. Each literacy class session meets a minimum of 1 1/2 hours per day. With few exceptions, inmates without a confirmed GED or high school diploma are required to enroll and participate in the Literacy Program for a minimum of 240 instructional hours or until they achieve a GED credential.
Admission Criteria All inmates without a GED or a high school diploma are enrolled in literacy classes in Bureau correctional facilities.
The following inmates are not required to attend the Literacy Program:

(1) pretrial inmates; (2) inmates committed for purpose of study and observation under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 4205(c), 4241(d), or, effective November 1, 1987, 18 U.S.C. 3552(b); (3) sentenced deportable aliens; and (4) inmates determined by staff to be temporarily unable to participate in the Literacy Program due to special circumstances beyond their control (e.g., due to a medical condition, transfer on writ, on a waiting list for initial placement). However, these inmates are required to participate when the special circumstances are no longer applicable.

Program Content Program content focuses on developing foundational knowledge and skill in reading, math, and written expression, and preparing inmates to get a GED.

Inmates withdrawing from literacy programs prior to obtaining a GED will be restricted to the lowest pay and have an inability to vest or earn the maximum amount of Good Conduct Time. Occupational training programs generally require a GED/High School Diploma or concurrent enrollment in a Literacy Program.

Empirical Support Research has shown that passing the GED test increases earnings for some dropouts, but that labor market payoffs take time (Murnane, Willett, & Tyler, 2000; Tyler, 2004; Tyler & Berk, 2008; Tyler, Murnane, & Willett, 2000, 2003). GED credentials provide a pathway into postsecondary education, and finishing even a short- term program offers important economic benefits to GED recipients (Patterson, Zhang, Song & Guison-Dowdy, 2010).
Applicable Policies 5350.28 Literacy Program (GED Standard).
5300.21 Education Training and Leisure Time Program Standards.
5353.01 Occupational Education Programs.
Institution Locations All Bureau facilities offer the Literacy Program.