Florida Expands Education Opportunities for Prisoners


By Shawn Mulcahy

Florida prisoners will have new education opportunities under a law signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

In an overinflated job market, finding work is difficult. For people who have served time in prison, it can be nearly impossible.

But a bill signed by Governor Scott could better prepare prisoners for the job market, by allowing the Florida Department of Corrections to partner with local school districts and the Florida College system to provide some prisoners with vocational training and post-secondary education.

“One of the biggest challenges anyone has – and especially someone who’s been in the prison system – is finding a job,” says Rep. Larry Ahern (R-Seminole). "Especially at today’s skill level, minimum requirements are a high school diploma which some of these men and women have not obtained.”

Ahern says the bill represents something that should’ve been done years ago. He hopes it provides prisoners with the skills necessary to be successful after serving their time.

The Postsecondary Workforce Education program provides a range of education options from career certification programs and apprenticeships to degree career education programs.

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