Windham School District (WSD) provides appropriate educational programs to meet the needs of the eligible offender population, thus reducing recidivism by assisting offenders in becoming productive members of society. Studies show that education and employment reduce recidivism and save tax dollars. Many of the offenders in the Texas Departments of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) lack the educational background and basic skills necessary for attaining employment upon release. The typical Windham student functions at the sixth grade level.
WSD academic and career and technical programs are designed to provide offenders with the skills they need to obtain employment upon release.
Windham provides a variety of academic classes and Career and Technical Education (CTE) to offenders incarcerated in the TDCJ, along with behavioral change programs.
WSD operates schools on 89 sites serving TDCJ.
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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.
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.
Adults in the United States are facing the challenges of life in a rapidly changing technological age. Successfully addressing these challenges requires adults to employ educational processes that are the basic tools of human growth and development. Adult prisoners as a group lack basic educational tools needed to successfully adapt to the economic, sociological and cultural dimensions of society. Confined people need to develop the academic skills to process knowledge and information. They need skills that allow them to contribute to a productive society. They need social skills that give them self-confidence and the ability to interact successfully with peers.