FDC Continues Inmate Education During Pandemic


The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) recognizes the vital importance education plays in preparing inmates for successful re-entry and restoration back into their communities. During the COVID-19 health emergency, staff swiftly designed dynamic responses and remained diligent in providing educational opportunities to inmate students incarcerated throughout Florida.

FDC implemented alternative methods to continue programming by offering educational materials to inmates within dorms, computer-assisted instruction, social distancing group instruction and testing in safe environments.

“By providing these modified opportunities for education and supporting those in our custody striving for higher education, we are supplying them with the essential skills and resources needed for effective restoration back into their community,” said FDC Secretary Mark Inch. “I want to commend our staff who continued to seek methods to safely and effectively offer these programs during a challenging situation.”

In July, more than 50 inmate students received their General Equivalency Diplomas (GED), and nearly 450 Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificates and industry credentials were earned by inmates. Certificates and credentials included Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), welding, masonry, electrician technician and building construction technology.

“For educators, the pandemic created a unique challenge for which there is no lesson plan. I am so pleased to see these kinds of numbers despite the hurdles of COVID-19,” said FDC Director of Office of Programs and Re-Entry Patrick Mahoney. “These successes and education gains are directly attributed to the outstanding commitment of our educators and the leadership at our institutions. The work of our staff continues to amaze me.”