Correctional Education Association and JPay Partner to Offer Education to Inmates

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New platform supports mission of changing lives and reducing recidivism

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The Correctional Education Association (CEA) today announced a partnership with JPay that will significantly increase educational opportunities for incarcerated adults and juveniles and reduce recidivism in America’s prisons. The collaboration centers on developing and implementing an open, digital education platform for use by educators, inmates and correctional staff.

Initial program offerings include preparation for key high school equivalency, pre-GED reading, writing and numeracy, English as a second language, reentry and life skills, and computer literacy. CEA and JPay will also partner with colleges and other organizations for accredited degree-seeking opportunities, including college level courses.

The system is composed of a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) for use, at no cost, by any educator or administrator interested in offering digital education to their inmates. Educators will be able to load coursework online and distribute it to inmates, who will then load it onto their tablets from a kiosk or a secure wireless network in their facility. Inmate students can complete course material, assignments and tests from their tablets, as well as communicate with their teachers.

“The partnership exceeds our expectations for implementing an open, common framework for delivering educational opportunities to incarcerated individuals,” said Steve Steurer, Executive Director of the Correctional Education Association. “The result, we believe, will be a giant step forward for updating and extending the reach of education in prisons, juvenile facilities and jails.”

In May, 2014 the White House held a meeting on technology and correctional education. One of the recommendations from that meeting included building an affordable and secure platform that would allow education providers and publishers an opportunity to connect to inmate tablets and other portable devices. JPay, in committing its development and infrastructure resources, and CEA, with its expertise and influence in inmate education, have teamed to make this vision a reality.

“We’re excited to be working with CEA to build this revolutionary platform for correctional education,” said Ryan Shapiro, CEO of JPay, a leading provider of corrections services. “We’re proud to provide opportunities for incarcerated individuals to change their lives. We see this initiative transforming our industry, resulting in a significant decrease in recidivism.”

The power of correctional education was highlighted in a 2014 RAND Corporation study. Findings include the determination that inmates who participate in correctional education programs are 43% less likely to return to prison than those not participating. They also have better chances of gaining employment after leaving prison. A key recommendation of the study was the need for the effective use of technology in correctional education by implementing a technology platform open to educators and education providers.

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