The mission of corrections education at Wildwood Correctional Center is to provide adult basic education, GED, life skills, and vocational education so that individuals can improve interpersonal and academic skills, to successfully function within the institution, and to enhance community integration and economic self-sufficiency upon release.
With the mission in mind, we then look at the needs of individual prisoners. Common needs are the ability to read, write, and compute at a literate level, social skills such as communication and anger management, basic living skills including budgeting, finding resources, and job finding and keeping skills. Responsibility and self-control are additional common needs, which we address in all classes.
We have one education coordinator who is responsible for the program in the three areas of the Wildwood Complex, and contract instructors and inmate tutors are employed to round out the education program. Prisoners work as tutors for basic literacy, English Second Language, and GED students. They enhance the program by many more hours than the education coordinators could devote to one on one tutoring, and thereby expanding the program beyond what would be possible otherwise.
The Education Department offers classes in basic literacy, ABE/GED, parenting skills, basic computer applications and certifications, Alaska Re-Entry class, and apprenticeship programs in building maintenance, warehouse maintenance, cooking and baking, and computer repair. Inside/Out Dad is a class dedicated to helping interested inmates become better fathers, by aiding them in improving their parenting skills.
Also, vocational training classes are offered in Hazardous Waste Operations, Confined Space Entry, Industrial Health and Safety, and Part 46 Mining Safety.
Wildwood has a high school equivalency and Adult Basic Education program available to all prisoners, free of charge. The Wildwood Education Program is an official General Education Development (GED) Testing site. Each year several inmates earn their diploma and are rewarded with personal satisfaction and opportunities that often lead to better paying jobs and admission to advanced vocational schooling. For further information or to sign up for classes, prisoners should contact the Education Office.
The computer room is open seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, but closed during lunch, dinner and count times. The Computer Room is a multi-use area for individual projects, computer classes, and letter writing; it is not to be used for grievances, legal work, or starting and running a business. When classes are in progress, do not disturb the participants, as this is a “quite area”. Few skills will help more in gaining and keeping a job then basic computer skills. The Computer Room Attendants will be more than happy to help you get started using the computers.
Various vocational classes are offered. These classes may include Confined Space Entry, Industrial/Mining Health and Safety, HAZWOPER, Part 46 Surface Mining Safety and Microsoft computer certifications. These classes are scheduled throughout the year and announcements will be posted as they become available.
This is a program designed to train inmates to qualify for an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation “Safe Food Handler” card that is required for employees working in food establishments regulated by the DEC. Such establishments include those where food for public consumption is handled; especially if it is unwrapped ready-to-eat food, or food that has any unprotected contact surfaces.
College classes are offered through the University of Alaska, or other accredited institutions of higher learning. See the Education Coordinators for further information.
Each side of the prison complex, Wildwood Correctional Center, Pre-trial and the Transitional Unit has a library available for inmate study and recreational use.