Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Classes

Program Description ACE includes formal instructional classes of special interest. ACE classes enhance an inmate’s general knowledge of various subjects.

ACE classes are designed and offered based on the needs and/or interests of the inmate population. Classes vary from institution to institution. An inmate completes an ACE class when he/she meets the participation and achievement standards established for the class.

Time Frame ACE classes are offered for a varied length of time based on the program requirements established at the local institution. ACE classes are usually offered during the evening and weekend hours.
Admission Criteria All inmates are afforded the opportunity to participate in ACE classes. Since class offerings vary from institution- to-institution, prerequisites (e.g., completing a basic class before enrolling in an intermediate class) may exist.
Program Content Similar to non-credit personal enrichment classes (e.g., Microsoft Word and Personal Finance) offered at local community colleges, ACE classes enhance inmates’ general knowledge of various subjects such as consumer education, typing, keyboarding, business skills, conversational Spanish, and refresher basic skills classes. Popular reentry classes include job interview, job search, and resume writing classes. The ACE program also includes reentry type classes to assist in preparing inmates for release. 

Upon completion, inmates receive a Certification of Completion from the local institution’s Education Department. ACE classes may be taught by a staff member or an inmate tutor.

Empirical Support Information gathered in a recidivism study of three states (Maryland, Minnesota, and Ohio) indicated inmates who participated in education programs while incarcerated exhibited lower rates of recidivism after three years. In each state the three measures of recidivism, re-arrest, re-conviction and re-incarceration were significantly lower. The employment data shows that in every year, for the three years that the study participants were followed, the wages reported to the state labor departments were higher for the education participants compared to the non-participants (Steurer, Smith, and Tracy; 2001).
Applicable Policies 5300.21 Education Training and Leisure Time Program Standards.
Institution Locations All Bureau facilities offer Adult Continuing Education Classes.