Why provide academic education to offenders?

Correctional Education Association for the United States Department of Education, Office of Correctional Education, concluded, “offenders who participated in education programs while incarcerated showed lower rates of recidivism after three years”--a 29% reduction--and their “wages were higher.” Ninety-five percent of offenders will one day return to society and this area is tasked with preparing offenders for their return to society as productive citizens. A recently published Rand Corporation study (2014), "How Effective Is Correctional Education, and Where do We Go From Here," reports that for every dollar in GED correctional education, there is future savings of $5.

Profile of Academic Education

  • Voluntary participation for offenders who do not have a high school diploma or GED
  • Academic Education is comprised of one to four courses of study and is available at over 80 sites.
  • General education and special education courses of study:
    • Literacy (L/RR)
    • Adult Basic Education (ABE)
    • General Education Diploma Preparation (GED Prep)
    • General Education Diploma Testing (GED Testing)
    • Charter High School Program (HS diploma)
    • Braille is available at select facilities
    • Special education is available to qualified individuals at select facilities
  • Classroom-based instruction is delivered by part-time and full-time GDC staff, supplemented by instructors from local area Technical colleges. Charter School teachers are staffed by Foothills Regional High School.
  • Child Find - In compliance with state and federal law, notice is hereby given by the Georgia Department of Corrections that it conducts ongoing identification activities as a part of its school program for the purpose identifying students who may be in need of special education and related services. If your child is identified by the District as in need of such services, you will be notified of applicable procedures. 
    • In compliance with state and federal law, the Director of Academic Education will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student, those related aids, services or accommodations which are needed to provide access to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. These services for protected handicapped students are distinct from those applicable to all exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.
    • For further information on the rights of parents and their children, provision of services, evaluation and screening (including purpose, time and location), you may contact the Director of Academic Education in writing at State Offices South at Tift College, 300 Patrol Road, Upshaw, 2nd Floor, Forsyth, GA 31029.
    • Confidentiality: All information gathered about your child is subject to the confidentiality provisions contained in federal and state law. Georgia Department of Corrections has policies and procedures in effect governing the collection, maintenance, destruction and disclosure to third parties of this information. For information about these policies and procedures, as well as rights of confidentiality and access to educational records, you may contact the Director of Academic Education. 

For more information on Academic Education by reviewing our 

Download this pdf file. Inmate Services Fact Sheet .


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Academic Director Dr. Jennifer Irvin

Inmate Services Division, State Offices South at Tift College