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Correspondance Classes/Courses for Inmates?

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  • Correspondance Classes/Courses for Inmates?

    Does anyone know of any Correspondance Courses/Classes that are available to inmates to do through the mail? Please let me know if you know of - or hear of anything - and also how I would go about getting the information to my son, who is at Westville Correctional in Indiana.
    Much Appreciated.
    ~ Joanie ~
    *Mother of Incarcerated Son*
    ~ It Will Get Better. ~

  • #2

    Most any large university should have the option of taking courses via correspondence. I checked into it for my man a few months ago but then he decided to go another route. These are some interesting articles I found while researching. You might just have to make some calls to different universities to ask them.

    Check out these links:

    Best of luck to you and your son. It would be a good opportunity to get a college education, since he has the time to dedicate to it right now. It's too late now, but my man just submitted his FAFSA application to hopefully qualify for a Pell Grant to help him with the expense of college.


    • #3
      Thanks for the information I will pass it to my son.


      • #4
        Are inmates allowed to receive gov't grants, etc.? Do they have to have a school already picked-out? Any info will help.

        Thanks much!
        SOC Mom
        "SOC" Mom


        • #5
          Are there any schools in PA that offer correspondence courses for inmates?
          Any help would be great


          • #6

            I too am working on getting information for my son, 25 in Pendelton, Indiana. I have called a couple of places so far. Ohio University and Ashworth College. They were both very helpful and are sending me some information as well as my son. Maybe we could work together and find out the best school with the least cost.



            • #7
              Originally posted by dkcasad View Post

              I too am working on getting information for my son, 25 in Pendelton, Indiana. I have called a couple of places so far. Ohio University and Ashworth College. They were both very helpful and are sending me some information as well as my son. Maybe we could work together and find out the best school with the least cost.

              I am interested in what you find out about the education in Ohio. My son is at Noble in Caldwell Ohio. He has applied for the programs that they offer but was told he was too smart and would get passed up by trouble makers. Any info would be appreciated.


              • #8
                i am looking into college classes for my son too have you found anything thanks for your help


                • #9
                  Looking for college course for my husband. He is in Kansas, I highly doubt the state matter since it would be done thru correspondence. I don't know much about how these programs work, can someone help me out? Again, what do we have to do to get this approve by the prison or get him the information? Thanks in advance.
                  ♥ !Missing my better half! ♥

                  ♥If God brought you to it, he will bring you through it♥

                  ♥ Don't say it's forever and then say goodbye ♥


                  • #10
                    I am also curious if they would qualify for a grant to go to school. My friend is serving life without parole. Because he is a lifer, he is not allowed to participate in classes in the prison. When he was first sentenced (18 years old), it was different and he was allowed to take classes. Somewhere along the line, things changed. He would love to finish his degree.


                    • #11
                      List of Schools Offering College Courses to Inmates


                      Bible Correspondence Schools

                      Free College Bible Course and Degrees


                      Bible Correspondence Studies/Ministries

                      Correspondence Schools & Educational Resources

                      Last edited by TexasDust; 07-21-2014, 11:11 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Sharing "OLD" Info Found on the Web

                        I am trying to compile information here in a succinct form.

                        There were many comments about making sure that the credits obtained were “Regionally Accredited” and would be recognized by other institutions and transferable. Please ask questions about this. Scroll all the way down as there is a ton of related information here.

                        I just located a guide to correspondence courses for inmates: The Prisoner's Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Courses in the United States and Canada. You can get it at The cost is $21.95 for prisoners, $24.95 otherwise. Shipping in the US is $2.50. The publisher's address is
                        Biddle Publishing Co., 13 Gurnet Road, PMB 103, Brunswick, Maine, 040ll.

                        Here are the programs members have given information about. I don’t have any personal information about these programs. CET Also, if you scroll down under "other problems " you will read that some institutions do not allow inmates to take college classes. Some will not accommodate the student needing the materials they need to complete the class. So perhaps the place to start is with calling the prison itself first, and then also calling about programs and mentioning which prison you are dealing with.

                        Specific Programs:
                        Ohio University's College Program for the Incarcerated
                        222 Haning Hall, Ohio Univ., Athens, OH 45701 800 444 2420

                        University of Iowa, Iowa City. 1 800 272 6430 will send catalog, work with inmates.

                        Univ of No Iowa Cedar Falls 1800 772 1766 can get BA, no out of state fee

                        Ashworth College home study program. Nationally accredited ( someone else pointed out different than regionally credited, so ask questions)
                        1 800 223 4542

                        Information in general about inmate education, state and federal and financial aid

                        ExcellentSite!!!!....Office of Correctional Education & Financial Aid

                        Office of Correctional Education Homepage

                        Mission of the Office of Correctional Education

                        Frequently Asked Questions
                        Correctional Education

                        How do I request information and publications from the Office of Correctional Education?

                        Many of the publications from OCE are available online through our Correctional Education Library Hard copies of OCE publications can be obtained through ED Pubs For information not available on this website, please contact OCE

                        How can I find out about correctional education opportunities in a particular state?

                        To obtain information about the availability of correctional education opportunities in a particular state, please contact the State Correctional Education Administrator for your state.

                        What types of financial aid are available to incarcerated individuals?

                        Incarcerated individuals are eligible to apply for all types of student financial assistance with one exception. A student incarcerated in a Federal or State penal institution is not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant for periods of enrollment that begin on or after September 13, 1994.

                        How do I obtain information about educational programs in federal correctional institutions?

                        The Federal Bureau of Prisons has an education unit that handles issues that relate to correctional education within federal prisons.

                        This page last modified—March 17, 2003

                        Contact the Office of Correctional Education

                        Technical questions about the Web site:

                        Other inquiries/comments:
               Contact the Office of Correctional Education

                        Welcome to the Guide to Education Programs

                        Related Links
                        Student Guide to Financial Aid Dept. of Education's Home Page


                        The Student Guide

                        Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education

                        The Student Guide is a comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of aid available through the Department's Federal Student Aid office. Updated each award year, The Student Guide tells you about the programs and how to apply for them.

                        The Student Guide 2003-2004 available in English Spanish
                        is for the July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004 award year.

                        To apply for federal aid and to apply for many state student aid programs, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) [/URL. Electronic versions of the FAFSA make applying for financial aid faster and easier than ever.

                        If you have any questions you may contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

                        Federal Student Aid Information Center
                        1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
                        This is a toll-free number.
                        More about financial aid

                        Financial Aid -Drug Convictions Bar Students From Receiving Federal Funds but Arsonists, burglars and convicted felons can still qualify for aid. (
                        CollegeJournal | News & Trends
                        ... because he can't get the federal financial assistance he needs ... the prison so he can
                        qualify for financial aid ... to pursue his college studies in prison and after ...
                        [url] newstrends/20010929-golden.html
                        Drug offenders who lie on the financial-aid form usually qualify for aid because neither the government nor universities seek to verify responses. "The Al Capone of drug dealers could answer no, and there are no checks," says David Allen, financial-aid director at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Mass. Ms. Kozberg, the Education Department spokeswoman, says the government checks answers to all questions on a sample of applications but doesn't pay special attention to the drug responses.


                        I've called and emailed FAFSA. Each time, it's like I get a different answer when asking if they can get assistance while still in prison. On another FAFSA site (can't remember how I got there) it said to fill out the app and send it in. If they don't qualify for one kind of assistance there are others that they might. Here is the FAFSA url:


                        Other issues with inmate correspondence study programs… the institution!
                        Google PLRA.. The legislation that has caused many of the funded organizations and programs to go into the ether.

                        In the event that money fell from the sky at a prisoner who could actually afford the tuition.... The problem then is logistic.

                        As an individual doing 'correspondence' courses, they'd be restricted by whatever institutional policies would govern how much personal property (books and whatnot) would come their way.

                        If a handful of people in a given prison manage to afford the same course, it would take an act of DOC and God to bring a particular 'visiting' instructor in to the prison to teach the course.

                        Before Pell's vaporized, KCIW had 2 college programs. A local community college was partnered with DOC to teach it onsite.
                        There were only BA (2 year) programs offered. They had a minimum of 6 people in it --or they'd not come... If anyone got locked down in the midst of it, the program could be pulled. The materials were brought in by the instructors and waived by DOC as extraneous property.

                        I asked the instructor why they'd not offer some 4 year degrees. Simple answer. To be the equivalent of the 'civilian' 4 year degree, there would be other requisite courses that simply could not or would not be completed.

                        The first was the 'lab' study. Anything from biology, to chemistry, to astronomy... DOC frowns on chemical contraband and would never go for letting anyone out at night to stargaze.

                        The second would be the 'language' requirement. There would be a need for the same 6 folks to decide on and pass (collectively) a second language course. This from folks to whom the fact that English has rules (no one employs) would be news..

                        Sponsored courses within prisons come at the pleasure of the DOC and the insistance of the residents when they have.
                        Sources and links Correspondence schools & Financial info

                        PS: I didn't check out all (but I did most) of these sites to see if they are still good. So, you might find a couple at the end that aren't. Good Luck!

                        1801 18th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 Write for a list of schools and courses that are offered to prisoners by mail.

                        Office of Correctional Education, U.S. Dept. of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, DC 20202. Information about educational grants.

                        Correspondence/SupportHouston ABC is active in correspondence and material support for various prisoners across the country. This support varies from funds to supplies to books and legal materials. Donations are appreciated.

                        ABC Houston
                        PO Box 667614
                        Houston TX, 77266-7614
                        ABC Austin
                        PO Box 19733
                        Austin TX, 78760-9733

                        Paralegal Course
                        Legal training since 1890. Blackstone's distance-education program has satisfied thousands of inmate/prisoner students. Learn the law and graduate in 8-24 months. Free info packet.

               Distance Learning
                        National Institute for Literacy State Policy Update How States are Implementing Distance Education for Adult Learners - February 14 2000 - ... AHS. 13. Prison. 14. Source: Tracy-Mumford Survey 1998. ...

                        EDUCATIONAL / CORRESPONDENCE COURSESStarCoast Academy - StarCoast Academy is accredited by National Private Schools Association Group. StarCoast has many different programs, including a high school diploma program, that are self-paced based on the abilities of each person. The director's son was in prison.
                        Write for information: StarCoast Academy; 4907 Coral Blvd.; Bradenton, FL 34210, or call:
                        (941) 794-0197, or email:

                        Prisoners' Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Programs In the United States and Canada: High School, Vocational, Paralegal and College Courses by Jon Marc Taylor. Provides contact information and an outline of the courses offered by over 250 educational providers, including many major universities. The book includes information on high school, vocational, paralegal, law, college and graduate courses. The book has many useful tips and articles for the proactive prisoner, including how to acquire a college degree for less than $2,000. Special price of $25.95 (postage prepaid) to prisoners. For information or to order, write: Biddle Publishing Co.; 13 Gurnet Road, PMB 103; Brunswick, ME 04011

                        CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOLS
                        Blackstone School of Law, P.O. Box 701449, Dallas, Texas 75370 (800) 826-9220 offers a well-known paralegal program.

                        CLEP (College Level Exam Program), CN 6600, Princeton, NJ 08541-6600 College credits for self-taught knowledge.

                        Crossroad Bible Institute, 2976 Ivanrest SW Suite 125, Grandville, MI. 49418. Bible study, beginners and up, personal discipleship.

                        Emmaus Bible Correspondence School, 2570 Asbury Road, Dubugue, IA 52001 (319) 588-8000 offers free Bible courses to prisoners.

                        National Home Study Council, 1801 18th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 Write for a list of schools and courses.

                        Office of Correctional Education, U.S. Dept. of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, DC 20202.

                        The Paralegal Institute, 3602 West Thomas Rd. # 9, Drawer 11408, Phoenix, AZ 85061-1408 (602) 272-1855 Associate Degree program available. Accredited by the D.E.T.C.

                        ICDL Distance learning courses database, Institutions database, ...
                        ... Trust is to upgrade literacy amongst historically disadvantaged people in Southern
                        Africa, including prisoner rehabilitation, through the ... Distance Learning. ...

                        Correctional Education Program, 919-962-2648 or 800-862-5669. Independent Studies participates in several programs designed to assist persons in the North Carolina prison system who are interested in pursuing college-level work. Outreach to Inmates enables qualified inmates to enroll in correspondence courses at no charge. Econo-College for Inmates, located at Orange Correctional Center in Hillsborough, provides a combination of services including correspondence courses, on-site classes, enrichment activities, academic advising, and study-release on campus. On-site instruction and related activities are also available at the NC Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh, at Johnston Correctional Institution in Smithfield, Dan River Prison Work Farm in Yanceyville, Harnett Correctional Institution in Lillington, and Polk Youth Institution in Butner. Additional on-site instruction is provided at Foothills Correctional Institution and Western Youth Institution (both in Morganton), and Craggy Correctional Center in Asheville through an agreement with UNC-Asheville; at Eastern Correctional Institution in Maury, Hyde Correctional Institution in Swan Quarter, Pender Correctional Institution in Burgaw, and Southern Correctional Institution in Troy through an agreement with East Carolina University; and at Sandhills Youth Center in McCain and Morrison Youth Institution in Hoffman through an agreement with Fayetteville State University. For more information about any of these programs, contact the Correctional Education Program, 919-962-2648 or 800-862-5669

                        Windham School in Texas Start w/clicking General Interest
                        This site is a comprehensive collection of resources for basic skills and literacy programs in correctional education. Through this single access point, instructors, administrators, and adult learners can find activities and links exclusively related to correctional education.









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                        • #13
                          I have looked and looked and looked throughout the TDCJ inmate handbook and have found nothing on using colored pens when writing. In county this was not allowed. Same as glitter on greeting cards. Does anyone know if TDCJ has issues with this? I should have just called and asked but forgot. I have sent two cards with different colors of ink written in then that were mailed Friday and this morning. Please help


                          • #14
                            I realize this is an old post, but I am wondering if anyone has found places that offer free correspondence cuurses to inmates; esp. in California.


                            • #15
                              When I first looked at these posts I could have sworn it said 2010 and now I see 2014.All the better.

                              While I'm at it, does anyone know of Pro Bono lawyers in California?