A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 416

Adult Education - Funtional Literacy and Life Skills Program for State and Local Prisoners

(CFDA No. 84.255A)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: National Literacy Act Amendments, Title VI, Part B, Section 601, P.L. 102-103, (20 U.S.C. 1211-2).

Purpose: To provide financial assistance for the development of demonstration or systemwide functional literacy programs for adult prisoners; to provide financial assistance for programs that reduce recidivism by imprpoving life skills necessary for reintegration into society.

Funding History

Fiscal Year Appropriation
1993 $4,910,400
1994 $5,100,000

II. Program Information and Analysis

Population Targeting

The functional literacy program targets adult offenders who are not functionally literate. The life skills program targets offenders who need help with self-development, communication skills, job and financial skills development, education, interpersonal and family relationship development, and stress and anger management.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Adult Literacy Survey Report, Literacy Behind Prison Walls described a 70 percent illiteracy rate among a sample of prisoners as follows:

About seven in ten prisoners...are apt to experience difficulty in performing tasks that require them to integrate or synthesize information from complex or lengthy texts or to perform quantitative tasks that involve two or more sequential operations and that require the individual to set up the problem (1993, p. vi).

Services

Functional literacy projects were funded for the first time in FY 1992. In December 1993, competitive grant awards were made for 11 projects in 8 States. Awards were made to both correctional and jail education facilities. The projects provide services that help offenders achieve functional literacy, or in the case of an individual with a disability, achieve a level of functional literacy commensurate with his or her ability, until the offender is granted parole, completes his or her sentence, or is released pursuant to court order.

Life skills projects were funded for the first time in FY 1993. In December 1993, competitive grant awards were made for 19 projects in 13 States. Awards were made to both correctional and jail education facilities. Life skills projects must provide services that help offenders prepare to return to their communities upon release from correctional facilities. These services may include a range of life skills training activities including self-development, communication skills, job and financial skills development, education, interpersonal and family relationship development, and stress and anger management.

III. Sources of Information

  1. Program files.
  2. Literacy Behind Prison Walls, a National Adult Literacy Survey Report (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 1993).

IV. Planned Studies

Individual, third party evaluations are required for each project.

V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
Christopher Koch, (202) 205-5621

Program Studies:
Daphne Hardcastle, (202) 401-1958

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