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Ivy Tech Pulls Out of Prison GED Programs

The Department of Corrections and Ivy Tech allowed their two-year contract to expire after disagreements over funding and staffing.

Ivy Tech representatives say the DOC wanted more staff for GED programs, like the one at Miami Correctional Facility (pictured), but couldn’t allocate more funding to pay for it.

Photo: Indiana Department of Corrections

Ivy Tech representatives say the DOC wanted more staff for GED programs, like the one at Miami Correctional Facility (pictured), but couldn’t allocate more funding to pay for it.

Ivy Tech Community College will no longer administer Indiana’s prison GED programs. The Department of Corrections and Ivy Tech allowed their two-year contract to expire on July 1 after disagreements over funding and staffing.

Representatives say that’s because the DOC wanted more staff for the program but couldn’t allocate more funding to pay for it. The program costs about 6.5 million dollars each year.

Before the partnership with Ivy Tech, the DOC used to staff the program itself. Ivy Tech Corporate College President Matt Bell says when the college took over the program, they were able to do it with less money, and they have continued to cut costs while they have had the contract.

“There are significantly fewer instructors working today than were working in the past, and that was really a contractual choice that was made by our partners in the DOC,” he says.

Bell says Ivy Tech calculates it was saving the Department of Corrections more than 10 million dollars each year.

Department of Corrections education director John Nally says several colleges are in the running to replace Ivy Tech as the new GED program provider and that, in choosing a provider, they’ll still be looking for a college willing to employ more staff at a low cost.

I think that’s the crux of the matter,” he says. “My understanding is in the negotiations you were dealing with two items. One you had a budget that couldn’t expand very much beyond what it already was in the line item. And the second thing is was then could the current vendor help us by providing more teachers within that financial constraint.”

Nally says the DOC could sign contracts with multiple colleges to cover the programs. Ivy Tech employs more than 60 people who are responsible for the GED program.  Nally says the DOC will offer jobs to those employees.

Matt Bell says, as for Ivy Tech, they are interested in continuing to educate people who have served prison sentences but that those programs might have to happen outside the prison and after their sentences are completed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.d.caswell Brian Caswell

    The education of an inmate that has committed a minor crime should be given the chance of a ged if one does not have a high school education, but to give a murder not one but two college degrees on the backs of the tax payers NEVER !!!! while college students struggle with student loan debt, something is very wrong in this country that empathy plays a part in the decision of our laws. The rehab of certain types of prisoners has gone too far.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.pat.oconnor Patricia OConnor

    Ever heard this saying “There, but for the Grace of God, go I” ?
    It is easy for us to judge others, however, without walking in their shoes, without going through their trials and tribulations, how can we truly judge? I believe every crime has a reason and not just hate or cruelty Do I believe everyone in prison deserves a higher education and especially time cuts from that education, no… Although I do believe in second chances and I do believe that incarceration without rehabilitation is cruel and inhumane. I also know that not everyone can be rehabilitated. One has to truly want to change before any rehabilitation can take place. It is of these individuals I believe education would benefit not only themselves and their respective families but also society as a whole. Ignorance is one of top reasons people in general commit crimes. If given the chance to learn a better way versus committing a crime, I believe the choice would be to learn a better way. Children raising children; fatherless families; grade school educations and drug addiction in our society are reasons for the major crimes of our penal system today. Education for inmates with a conviction of murder or any heinous crime would not be helpful to anyone. Unless it is a gang murderer, sadly to say, most of these inmates already have a higher education. I see both sides, but I still strongly believe education/rehabilitation is the key to the recidivism rate in Indiana’s penal system.

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