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The following is an excerpt from a practicum assignment completed during Offender Workforce

Development training:
Characteristics Supporting the Development, Offering, and Attendance of Training at
Garden State Correctional Facility
A number of characteristics supporting the Development, Offering, and Attendance of Training
exist at Garden State Correctional Facility. Three of the most important factors are listed below:
Administrator A new Administrator came to Garden State over the summer. He is very
supportive of the Education Department because he began his career in the New Jersey
Department of Corrections as a teacher. Having a supportive Administrator allows for the
flexibility needed to bring new ideas to fruition. This is especially true within the corrections
system due to the necessary security procedures that must be in place to ensure the safety of
officers, civilian staff, and inmates.
Education Department Supervisor The Education Department at Garden State Correctional
Facility will be under new leadership starting at the beginning of the calendar year. Although the
previous Education Department Supervisor was very supportive of new programming, I believe
it will be easier to broach new programming ideas during this period of transition. In addition,
when the new Education Department Supervisor observed a lesson I led to help my students
determine their Holland codes, she was very impressed and encouraged me to share these ideas
with other staff.
Professional Learning Community The New Jersey Department of Education has recently
introduced a new method of professional development in all educational settings. Rather than
simply relying on sending teachers to workshops given by parties outside of the teachers schools
to gain professional development hours, schools are now required to formally create Professional
Learning Communities. This means teachers can now gain professional development hours by
meeting with each other to discuss how to better deliver educational services within their
schools. For example, I would be able to provide instruction to other teachers concerning how to
use career development theory or how to use facilitative skills when providing feedback on
various assessments we discussed during OWDS training. Education Department staff has
already had the chance to meet a couple of times to begin the development of the Professional
Learning Community at Garden State Correctional Facility. I believe the Professional Learning
Community format will allow teachers to develop new ideas collaboratively and offer them to
each other during workshops provided by Education Department staff. In addition, attendance
during both the development and offering stages will not be problematic because, under the
guidance of both a supportive Administrator and Education Department Supervisor, all
Professional Learning Community activities will take place during regular hours by postponing
or canceling classes.
Characteristics Impeding the Development, Offering, and Attendance of Training at
Garden State Correctional Facility
A number of characteristics that may impede the Development, Offering, and Attendance of
Training at Garden State Correctional Facility exist. These characteristics are listed below:

New Governor Although it is impossible to say definitively what the effects of a new governor
being sworn in will be, public sector workers throughout the state are concerned about their
futures as state employees due to statements made by the Governor-elect both during and after
the campaign. In addition to simply knowing whether or not their jobs are secure, state workers
will also be affected by funding changes for various programs as well as other administrative
changes.
Limited Time Although the idea of establishing a Professional Learning Community at Garden
State Correctional Facility holds a great deal of promise due to the flexibility granted by our
Administrator and Education Department Supervisor, it does not erase the time constraints that
exist. For every class that is canceled for the Professional Learning Community to meet,
students will have fewer hours of instruction.
Movements The new Administrator at Garden State Correctional Facility will be as supportive
of the Professional Learning Community as possible; however, due to the nature of the
corrections system, security concerns always come first. This means the Professional Learning
Community will have to adhere to all rules concerning inmate movements during the
development and offering of training as well as during attendance at Professional Learning
Community meetings.
Size of Facility There are over 1,800 inmates housed at Garden State Correctional Facility.
This large size has resulted in the development of three different areas where educational
services are provided. The segmented nature of the Education Department makes it difficult for
teachers to meet informally on a regular basis.