Windham School District (WSD) provides academic and vocational
education to eligible offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Windham
operates in the Correctional Institutional Division. The district, which began
operation in 1969, was established by the Texas Legislature and was named by
the Texas Board of Corrections for the late James M. Windham, a 24-year member
of the Board. It is the first education system of such scope to be established
within a statewide prison system. Classes are conducted in prison units across
Adults in the United
States face the challenges of life in an
ever-changing technological age. Successfully coping with these challenges
requires adults to employ educational processes that are the basic tools of
human growth and development. Incarcerated adults, as a group, lack the basic
educational tools needed to adjust successfully to the economic, sociological
and cultural dimensions of today's society. Confined persons need to develop
the academic skills that will allow them to process knowledge and information.
They need vocational competencies that will enable them to contribute to a
productive society. They need the social skills that will provide them with
self-confidence and the ability to interact successfully with their fellow man.
The mission of the Windham
School District is to
provide appropriate educational programming and services to meet the needs of
the eligible offender population in TDCJ and reduce recidivism by assisting
offenders in becoming responsible, productive members of their communities.
- To reduce
- To reduce the
cost of confinement or imprisonment.
- To increase
the success of former offenders in obtaining and maintaining employment.
- To provide an
incentive for offenders to behave in positive ways during confinement or
Windham School District
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. According to a study
conducted by the Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council (CJPC) in 2000,
offenders with higher levels of education have lower recidivism rates, and releasees who are employed have a lower recidivism rate
than those not employed.
Many of the offenders in the TDCJ lack the educational background
and basic skills necessary for attaining employment upon release. The typical Windham student functions
below the sixth grade level.
According to a related study (“Survey of Texas Employers 2002” by L.
Jean Walker, Ph.D.), employers have difficulty hiring employees because
applicants lack specific job skills. Employers also stress the importance of
employability skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and dependability. Windham’s academic and
vocational programs are designed to provide offenders with the skills they need
to obtain employment upon release.
provides a variety of academic classes and Career and Technical Education (CTE)
to offenders incarcerated in the TDCJ. In addition to WSD programs, the
Continuing Education program offers offenders the opportunity to participate in
college courses, and recreational activities.
WSD operates schools on 90 sites serving TDCJ. Most literacy
program participants attended classes 15 hours per week, and most of those
participating in CTE programs attended 30 hours per week.
The Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) serves as the school
board for Windham
School District. The
authority to administer, organize, manage, and supervise the daily operations
of WSD is delegated by the TBCJ to the Superintendent, who may further delegate
this authority to staff as appropriate. Reporting to the Superintendent are the
Public Information Officer, General Counsel, and Division Directors.
Delegation of authority from the TBCJ to the Superintendent
- Employing and
terminating staff as necessary for efficient operations.
implementing, maintaining and updating policies, procedures, and
- Organizing the
district to improve operations.
The Superintendent is responsible for implementing measures to
evaluate the effectiveness of WSD programs, maintaining relations with the TBCJ
and the TDCJ, and interacting with state offender family organizations. The
Superintendent also serves as the governmental liaison for the District and is
responsible for all contacts with the Governor's office, the Legislature, and
other state agencies.
The Windham Public Information Officer is responsible for press
releases, media relations, and providing current news to Windham staff. The PIO provides photographs
for WSD publications, updates the website calendar and bulletin board, and
provides supervision for production of the offender newspaper, The Echo. The PIO coordinates WSD’s Lane Murray
Excellence in Teaching Initiative to recognize exemplary instructors, and also
oversees the district’s administrative participation in the annual State
Employee Charitable Campaign.
2012-2013 Funding and Budget Schedule
2011-2012 Funding and Budget Schedule
2010-2011 Funding and Budget
2009-2010 Special Education ARRA/Stimulus
P.O. Box 40
804 Bldg. B, FM 2821 West