The Oregon Department of Corrections is considering cutting ties with community colleges across the state and proposing to move its education program in-house to address a budget shortfall.
The DOC currently contracts with six community colleges in Oregon to provide high school diploma equivalency testing, or GED services, to inmates across its 14 facilities.
“DOC is proposing that those contracts be phased out and the agency hire back those positions as part of the DOC permanent budget going forward,” DOC communications manager Jennifer Black told OPB.
She said nearly 1,000 inmates were enrolled in the Adult Basic Skill Development program as of Sept. 30.
Black said, historically, DOC had identified “barriers” in contracting with the colleges for its Adult Basic Skills, or ABS, program including “consistency of services and oversight.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, contractors were unable to enter the institutions and ABS programming could not be adapted and continued