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Continuing and Higher Education Support Services for Hawaii Department of Public Safety

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)

The purpose of this project is to establish a safe technical environment for Hawaii’s incarcerated student population to access higher education, and career and technical education, through the use of technology in the correctional setting. With the reinstatement of Pell grants for those who are incarcerated, it is necessary to provide students the use of a secured, safe network which provides reliable access to course content through an information technology (IT) infrastructure that meets expectations of the required security protocols within a correctional setting.

Primary activities of the project include establishing the IT infrastructure for correctional education as the foundation for offering quality technology enhanced teaching and learning experiences for incarcerated post-secondary students.  Integration of technology requires hardware, software, network access, physical infrastructure, and ongoing data storage security. Once this can be secured and established, it will provide a technical environment for students to learn in a hybrid/blended model of instructor led synchronous, asynchronous, and self-directed learning.

Technology allows for interactive experiences, increased engagement with course materials, and necessary digital skills for use upon re-entry to the community. Through access to Pell grants, career pathways created with colleges and the use of technology, students will earn college credits towards certificates and degrees in their areas of interest/study. This opportunity will lead to increased opportunity for graduates upon release from the carceral setting, and reduced recidivism.

This project will require all statewide correctional facilities to participate as students move throughout the system during their sentences and will need to continue on with their courses until the end of the semester (and all credits are earned), as students move from one site to another. Once a secured IT infrastructure can be provided, incarcerated students will prepare for their reentry with clear, planned, career preparation/gained skills, along with needed certifications and degree(s) so individuals will move forward with their lives, and into the community setting benefiting themselves, their families, and the community as a whole.

Date Created: August 10, 2023