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This SIG discusses the issues and concerns of correctional educators working in short-term detention facilities. 
ABE Program in Sheboygan (Wisconsin) County Detention Center
Date: January 12, 2009 11:49PM

Lakeshore’s ABE Program in the
Sheboygan County Detention Center

Sheboygan County, like other counties in Wisconsin, needs to address literacy of all kinds – reading, mathematics, written and oral communications, computer skills, and, yes, financial, family, health, and civics literacy. Based on data from the last several years, the average number of inmates participating in Lakeshore Technical College’s Adult Basic Education for the Incarcerated Project is 193 per year. A little over 50% enter the program without a high school credential. Of the approximate 100 individuals pursuing the GED during any one year, generally 25 to 30 will identify it as an achievable goal within the academic year. Of those entering the program without a high school credential as many as 90% will enter the program with less than a 9th grade ability in reading, mathematics, or both. The depth of need is exacerbated by the prevalence of limited English proficiency and learning disabilities.

Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) partners with Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department and the State of Wisconsin to provide on-site basic education services for adults incarcerated in the Sheboygan County Detention Center (DC/Jail). These services include, but are not limited to, General Educational Development Certificate/High School Equivalency Diploma (GED/HSED), basic skills review, college preparation, and employment preparation. LTC provides a full-time instructor and equips the Detention Center classroom with textbooks, office supplies, and fourteen computers. LTC provides basic education to inmates of Sheboygan County in both zero to eight and nine to twelve grade levels. The program provides both instructor-directed and computer-assisted instruction during day and evening hours. Participation in the program is voluntary. Each participant sets individualized education and employment goals at registration and regularly evaluates progress towards those goals with the help of the instructor. Most common goals include upgrade academic skills, obtain high school equivalency, prepare for college, and obtain employment.

Objectives of LTC’s Adult Basic Education for the Incarcerated Project include, but are not limited to, the following. Adult learners with support of instructional staff are expected to:
 Enter to learn
 Go forth to serve
 @#$%& their own attitudes, skills, knowledge
 Set measurable goals
 Evaluate their own progress towards the pursuit of chosen goals
 Participate in fundamental literacy programming such as career exploration, computer skills, reading, vocabulary, mathematics, written and verbal communication, parenting, health, civics, and personal finances
 Improve literacy levels/grade equivalencies
 Pass GED/HSED tests
 Earn General Educational Development Certificates (GED) and High School Equivalency Diplomas (HSED)
 Participate in the full cap and gown ceremony right along side other students at the school-wide GED/HSED Graduation ceremony held each June at the main campus in Cleveland, Wisconsin
 Prepare for and/or enroll in post-secondary education
 Obtain, retain, and upgrade employment
 Take responsibility for own actions and decisions
 Be respectful
 Be resourceful
 Peer-tutor in class and in the pods
 Behave responsibly and stay out of jail!

The program is open to any inmate requesting to attend unless there are disciplinary or safety and security issues. Jail Administration denies only a small percentage of requests. When time and space provide, virtually everyone is allowed the privilege to attend educational programming. Thus, on any given day the diversity in the Sheboygan County Detention Center classroom includes, but is not limited to diversity of: age, gender, physical and cognitive ability, medical condition, race, ethnicity, criminal record, socioeconomic status and background, employment status and history, educational level, religion, gang involvement, alcohol/drug use, and sexual orientation. Inmates also vary by custody level, escape risk, danger risk, legal status, and expected length of stay.

Length of participation in Lakeshore Technical College’s Sheboygan County Incarcerated Project is based on length of stay and ranges from less than one week to over a year, a two to five month average. As long as behavior meets the classroom Conduct Code and the Detention Center/Jail Rules and the inmate is making progress toward identified goals, the recognized duration of programming for said inmate is from point of registration to release or transfer. However, LTC Instructor Sharon Abel has made it a practice to follow up with her former students and remain an approachable resource for inmates/students post-release. She can be reached by e-mail sharon.abel@gotoltc.edu or voice mail 920.693.1747.

by: Sharon Abel, Lakeshore Technical College

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Re: ABE Program in Sheboygan (Wisconsin) County Detention Center
Posted by: murrayellison ()
Date: January 16, 2009 11:25AM

Thanks for updating about all the good work that Sharon Able and the Literacy Center does in Sheboygan. As you may know, we are trying to develop a new SIG Group that Sharon can lead.
Murray - PC Chair

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Re: ABE Program in Sheboygan (Wisconsin) County Detention Center
Posted by: Sharon Abel ()
Date: January 23, 2009 06:56PM

I see the computer is programmed not to accept the word "@#$%&" therefore it was "bleeped" within my article. What happens when we post an article about vocational assessment or perhaps @#$%&'ing grade levels? Just wondering! : )

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Re: ABE Program in Sheboygan (Wisconsin) County Detention Center
Posted by: murrayellison ()
Date: January 27, 2009 12:44PM

I think there is a webmaster and students at a correctional center and a filter that messages go through to screen out obsenity language.

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Re: ABE Program in Sheboygan (Wisconsin) County Detention Center
Posted by: Sharon Abel ()
Date: January 27, 2009 12:54PM

After I noticed the "bleep" in my article, I posted a comment for the purposes of testing the filtering system. The word "test" doesn't get bleeped the way some forms of the word "assessment" do. ; )

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