January 8, 2015

Off To Class In Federal Prison

I signed up for two classes at the education center, “Public Speaking” and “Business Finance”. There were a total of ten classes offered covering a wide variety of subjects. Prisoners are allowed to sign up for a maximum of two classes, only, to insure everyone has the ability to take at least one class. There is a mass sign up for everyone at the same time so the line gets long very quickly. I was a little late and ended up near the back of the line (I will not make that mistake again). As a result, I did not get my first choice, a Spanish language class.

The classes are taught by inmates who have knowledge in the subject matter. For example, the Spanish class is taught by a native Spaniard with college teaching experience.

The classes meet for one and one-half hours per week for 12 weeks. In addition to learning some new skills, the prisoner accumulates programming points which are looked upon with favor by your unit manager and unit counselor. Programming points can affect your inmate security classification and the amount of halfway house time you receive.

I attended my public speaking class yesterday. The instructor was very professional and outlined what we could expect over the next 12 weeks. We received a homework assignment on PowerPoint presentations.  I also have to give a short speech on this weekends football games at our next class.

My Business Finance class was today. The instructor is a former attorney/CPA. He is quite motivated and plans to teach us how to prepare a complete business plan by the end of the quarter.

Going to class offers a brief respite from the daily grind of federal prison life. At times, you forget where you really are when you are in class. In addition, it looks like I might learn something along the way and satisfy my obligation to secure programming points.

Signing up for federal prison education classes is a no brainer.

Ken Flaska

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