Idaho's Department of Corrections Education System

Idaho's Department of Corrections Education System

Within the prison walls of Idaho’s Department of Corrections facilities is a school that has helped over 500 inmates receive their GED’s as well as ten inmates who received their high school diplomas. The school is called the Robert Janss School and is accredited through the Idaho Department of Education, and operates within seven of Idaho’s Correctional Facilities throughout the state.

Once offenders are enrolled in the Robert Janss School’s program, they will progress through education in this order: Literacy or Secondary Education, Workforce Readiness, Workforce Skills, and On the Job Training. Inmates in the school’s program will be able to practice their new education skills at the Correctional Facility they are incarcerated at and use them for work projects and at Correctional Work Centers.

The ultimate goal of correctional programming is to reduce recidivism. Providing opportunities for offenders to live a crime-free and drug-free lifestyle through programming accomplishes this goal and provides for safer communities.

The Robert Janss School’s instructors are trained explicitly as correctional educators and feel that they are making a huge difference, not only in the inmate’s lives but in their own and as a contribution to society.

According to the Idaho Department of Correction, the school’s Correctional Education program operates as the core of the Institution. The school provides an upbeat and positive environment for the inmates, increasing their self-worth, confidence, and ability to contribute to society and their environment. 

The Robert Janss School is both a public school and a private school and is funded by the public and overseen by the Idaho Department of Corrections

To quote the school: “We succeed when our students acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for successful, crime-free living in our communities. Our classes reflect our commitment to educational remediation and preparation for successful lives in the home, at the workplace, and in the community.

We believe that education makes necessary positive changes in our students’ behaviors, which enables them to live successful, crime-free lives. The educational services provided by the Robert Janss School benefit our individual students, our institutions, and ultimately our general society.”

The levels of education provided are:

Adult Basic Education–offering literacy courses that include basic literacy, computer literacy, refresher skills, and English as a second language.

High School Education--including classes that cover the 42 credits outlined by the State Board of Education for a high school diploma, taught by properly certified instructors.

Special Education–for offenders who qualify under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Act or the Children’s Mental Health Services Act.

In addition, there is Vocational Professional-Technical Education, which may include Advanced Software Applications, Construction, Culinary Arts, Machine Shop & Welding, and Office Occupations. 

If you know of someone who is currently incarcerated within one of Idaho’s Correctional Facilities and would like more information on their Education Services, please read more here.