Community Educational Outreach (CEO) is devoted to providing educational resources that target low-income adults who may be at risk of being institutionalized. CEO outreaches to local community correction, drug rehabilitation, and community based facilities in an effort to help clients remain productive members of society. Through student-centered, individual, and small-group instruction, we assist our students in pursuing the following goals:
- Improving adult basic education skills (grade levels 0-8.9)
- Enhancing secondary education skills (grade levels 9-12.9)
- Preparing for and completing the official GED test to obtain high school equivalency
- Obtaining employment or improving job prospects
- Improving computer and life skills
- Achieving life and family goals
Community Educational Outreach History
In 1990, our founders recognized the lack of educational opportunities for inmates transitioning back into the community. At that time, there were no educational services offered to Denver community corrections clients, nor were there any local adult education providers specializing in meeting the distinct needs of people at risk of incarceration. CEO started as an in-house education program at Alpha Center, a transitional facility between prison and the community. With the successes at Alpha, CEO was able to establish in-house education programs at other facilities. Funding was acquired from the Adult Education Act, the McKinney Act, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Workforce Investment Act, Adult Education and Family literacy Act, and private and in-kind contributions.
Since its inception in 1991, CEO has provided comprehensive instruction – including academic, life and job skills classes – to nearly 7500 addicts, offenders, and community members. CEO has provided more than 200,000 hours of instruction at facilities such as Cenikor, Tooley Hall Women’s Facility, Williams Street Center, Intervention Community Corrections Services, Independence House, Community Responsibility Center, Northeast Women’s Center, and Alpha Center.
Our students are generally in transitional facilities and face a return to the streets, prison, or hospitalization; many have children. CEO, by partnering with community agencies and correction organizations, provides on-site educational services to at-risk adult students. CEO programs do not duplicate existing programs. Our clients have uncommon needs and unique social and legal status, which generally make adult education programs difficult or ineffective for our target population. We assist students working on literacy skills, GED preparation, job search and employment skills, and other identified educational goals.
CEO’s students not only face the challenge of finding work after incarceration, but are also hindered by low education levels. Many of our students have themselves been victims of crime and have experienced difficult and destabilized lives. Incarceration is often the result of an inability to be successful, independent, and responsible. CEO works to help students gain the skills they need to become self-reliant, responsible members of society.
Offenders have a significant need for Adult Basic and Secondary Education and job skills programming. Deficits in previous employment and actual skill level have a serious impact on the ability of offenders to gain and maintain full-time employment.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average prison inmate has only completed 10th grade. Additionally, 43 percent of inmates were not fully employed at the time of their arrest. The Bureau of Justice also reports that recidivism decreases as skill level increases, educated and employed people are less likely to become statistics in our overcrowded prison system. Studies show that inmates with a literacy level equivalent to the 6th grade or below recidivate at nearly 40% while that number drops to 25% for people who have a GED or higher.
Literacy level (equivalent to grade level)