Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
PrisonEd provides students with free textbooks and assignment packets to complete for each course. The student completes the assignments in specified intervals before sending it back to PrisonEd. From there, students are paired with a tutor who gives feedback and assists students in successfully completing each course, all through mail correspondence. Once they have finished the work, the students will receive a course completion certificate. Inmates who want to be involved in PrisonEd must take the class Freedom Behind Bars first. After completing that class, students can then select courses they want to take from the list of offered courses.
Is there a fee to participate in PrisonEd?
There is no enrollment charge to participating students. Books, materials, and tutoring services are all free of charge as well. The only expense that inmates are expected to pay is the cost of postage to mail assignments to PrisonEd.
How does PrisonEd receive funding?
PrisonEd operates on a volunteer basis. PrisonEd does not receive funding from state or federal governments. It does ask for donations for those who would like to contribute.
Do students receive credit for courses?
No college credit is awarded. But PrisonEd does provide a certificate of completion for students who successfully finish a course. Students can use their course completion and certificate to demonstrate that they spent their time productively and have improved not only in their skills, whether academic or professional, but also in their confidence to succeed upon release from prison.
The course completion also provides the parole board with evidence that the prisoner has made efforts to improve their lives and has prepared for jobs and college success upon release.
What kind of course help does PrisonEd provide?
Most courses have qualified tutors to provide help and feedback along the way. Some of our courses are independent study courses with a book and course assignments. Refer to our PrisonEd course list to learn more.
How do prisoners communicate with PrisonEd?
Communication between PrisonEd and its students takes place through the U.S. Mail. The address is listed below.
P.O. Box 382
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Volunteers receive students’ assignments from PrisonEd, and they send the reviewed assignments back to the PrisonEd address. PrisonEd will then forward the assignments back to students in their respective locations. This means that all communication goes through PrisonEd.
What if a student wants to study subjects not listed in the PrisonEd course list?
We do offer an independent study course which allows students to select their own topic of study. This type of course is available only for students who have already completed other courses with PrisonEd.
Send us any questions you have about independent study through mail. Students should identify interests, background in the area, and related goals when reaching out.
Our course list is always growing, and your interest could help spur new courses beyond the ones we are currently working on.
Can books be shared?
Yes, we encourage the sharing of books according to each facility’s regulations. If a facility allows for a mini-library for PrisonEd books to be set up, we encourage students to donate used books for that purpose.
Is PrisonEd available in the Central Utah Correctional Facility?
PrisonEd does not provide services directly to inmates in the Central Utah Correctional Facility, which is located in Gunnison, Utah. Central Utah Correctional Facility’s policy is that prisoner education be provided by and through UPREP, another prison education program that offers introductory college courses and career-focused courses to inmates.
PrisonEd encourages Gunnison inmates to contact UPREP if they want access to prisoner education. Sometimes inmates are moved to other prisons or jails after being in the Central Utah Correctional Facility. If this is the case, students can certainly then seek out involvement with PrisonEd.