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Illinois Department Of Corrections Inmate Education Programs

Educational opportunities for inmates within the Illinois Department of Corrections have increasingly become available in recent years. Inmates are now able to access a variety of programs and services that promote personal growth and development, such as educational classes, vocational training, recreational activities and counseling services. This article will explore the inmate education programs offered by the Illinois Department of Corrections, discussing their goals and benefits.


In recent years, there has been an increased focus on providing educational resources to inmates in order to reduce recidivism rates. Studies have shown that providing inmates with access to educational opportunities increases their chances of successful rehabilitation upon release from incarceration. The goal of the Illinois Department of Corrections is to provide offenders with educational resources that will enable them to lead better lives outside of prison walls once they are released.


The Illinois Department of Corrections offers a wide range of educational programs and services for inmates, including academic courses, vocational training programs and recreational activities. These programs are designed to help inmates develop new skills, improve existing ones and gain valuable knowledge that can be used after release from prison. In addition, these education programs also provide an opportunity for inmates to build relationships with other inmates and staff members which can help facilitate successful rehabilitation after release from prison.

Ged Preparation

Illinois Department of Corrections offers a GED preparation program to its inmates. This program is designed to help inmates prepare for the GED exam, and potentially earn their high school equivalency certificate while incarcerated. Through the program, inmates can receive individualized instruction and support from certified teachers in order to build the skills necessary to pass the exam.


The GED preparation program includes access to study materials and practice tests, so that inmates can become familiar with content areas covered on the exam. In addition, instructors assess each student’s level of knowledge and create individual lesson plans tailored to their needs. The instructors use an interactive approach which helps engage students in studying for the GED and encourages them to take responsibility for their own learning.


The ultimate goal of this program is for inmates to gain skills necessary for passing the GED exam and becoming more employable after release from prison. To this end, it also provides career counseling services so that inmates can explore different job opportunities they may pursue after they are released.

Vocational Training

The Illinois Department of Corrections offers a number of educational programs for inmates. Among these is vocational training, which provides inmates with the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge for employment. Vocational training emphasizes hands-on learning, teaching inmates how to use tools, machines and other equipment needed in various industries.


Vocational training is offered in a variety of fields such as carpentry, auto mechanics, welding, electrical work and other trades. Additionally, IT courses are available to train inmates in computer programming and software development. Through these courses, inmates learn the skills necessary to obtain employment upon release from prison.


Inmates who complete vocational training may receive certification or licensing upon completion of the program. These credentials can be used when applying for jobs or higher education opportunities after leaving prison. This type of educational program provides invaluable resources that can help inmates become productive members of society upon their release from prison.

College Courses

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) offers college courses for inmates to pursue. The primary purpose of these courses is to help inmates develop valuable skills and knowledge that will enable them to transition back into society upon release.


Inmates are eligible for college courses if they meet certain criteria, such as being at least 18 years of age and having a high school diploma or GED. They may be able to take classes through local colleges such as Centralia Community College and Kankakee Community College. These institutions offer degree programs in various areas such as business, criminal justice, health care, and social sciences. Additionally, IDOC also provides vocational training courses in subjects like welding and automotive technology which can lead to certifications.


The benefits of taking college courses while incarcerated are numerous. Inmates who participate in the program gain an education that can provide them with career opportunities upon their release from prison. Furthermore, studies have shown that inmates who complete college coursework have a lower rate of recidivism than those who do not. This indicates that providing educational opportunities to inmates is an effective way of helping them reintegrate into society after their incarceration.

Key Takeaways

The Illinois Department of Corrections offers multiple education programs to inmates in order to better prepare them for life after incarceration. GED preparation and vocational training provide opportunities for inmates to gain the skills needed for success in their post-prison lives. In addition, college courses are available to those who demonstrate a commitment and dedication to furthering their educational endeavors. Through these educational programs, the Illinois Department of Corrections is helping inmates become productive members of society upon release from prison.


These educational opportunities help reduce recidivism rates by providing inmates with the skills they need to obtain meaningful employment and contribute positively to society. With a GED or vocational certificate, individuals can find employment that will give them stability and independence after leaving prison. College courses provide yet another avenue for inmates to develop knowledge and skills in an area that can lead to a career after incarceration.


The Illinois Department of Corrections recognizes the importance of education in preparing individuals for life outside prison walls. These education programs offer a chance at redemption through teaching valuable skills that can be used both inside and outside of prison walls. By investing in inmate education, the department is ensuring that individuals have a successful transition into their post-prison lives.