History

The WSD was established by the Texas Board of Corrections in October 1969, as authorized by the Texas Legislature, to provide educational opportunities to offenders incarcerated in state prisons. WSD was named after James M. Windham, who served on the Texas Board of Corrections for 24 years.

 James M. Windham

The WSD began with a staff of eight instructors and grew along with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Today the WSD is one of the largest correctional education systems in the nation, offering a variety of literacy, life skills, vocational and post-secondary classes to eligible offenders incarcerated in the Correctional Institutions Division of the TDCJ.

 

 

Success Stories

Success Story IconNEW - Making a positive impact - "I am very excited to be learning a new trade and to be securing employment for myself in the 'real world.'"

Success Story IconPolunsky Unit Success Story -
"He [Mr. Leblanc] taught me things that even the guys rebuilding transmissions for many years didn't know."

Success Story IconNEW - Better future after prison - "It's mind-blowing and inspirational to know that you can have a better future after prison"

Success Story IconCognitive Intervention Success Story -
"I graduated from Cognitive Intervention and the course has had a major impact on me and my behavior".

Calendar

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Teach for WSD

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WSD in Images

Vocational and academic skills are integrated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as this Small Engine Repair class in Huntsville, Texas.
Auto specialization students in a West Texas prison learn auto maintenance skills, preparing themselves for future employment as professional mechanics.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Female offenders in Gatesville, Texas, study to improve their literacy skills during a WSD academic class.
Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.
Texas State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill congratulates GED recipients during Spring, 2014, ceremonies. “I am very impressed with the program and with the commitment of the staff and teachers,” she said.