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The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) educational system is fully accredited by the Tennessee Department of Education to ensure the highest level of education for incarcerated individuals.  TDOC provides an array of academic and career technical programs, as well as library services at each of the correctional facilities.   The libraries provide incarcerated offenders with access to reading materials, including fiction and non-fiction books, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, academic, career and technical material, personal enhancement reference materials and the necessary legal volumes required by federal and state laws and TDOC policy.

A team of dedicated, highly qualified teachers who hold valid Tennessee teacher's licenses, some of whom are also certified and licensed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), provide instruction for incarcerated offenders in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Career and Technical Education (CTE).  We partner with Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEI), Lipscomb University and other institutions of higher education to offer post secondary education at two male facilities and one female facility.  These classes can lead to a general education certificate, an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, or a master's degree.  The goal is to provide incarcerated offenders with much needed education and career training as part of the broader TDOC effort to increase public safety and reduce recidivism.

Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs offer incarcerated offenders opportunities to acquire academic skills through an emphasis on mathematics, language arts, writing, reading, science and social studies.  Classes are specifically designed for incarcerated offenders, in which teachers provide interactive, engaging, relevant and high interest instructions aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards.  To advance or promote from one level to the next, offenders must show competence of the College and Career Readiness Standards and/or achievement of an applicable test of ABE or TABE score.  As offenders matriculate through the ABE program levels, classes become more rigorous and an increase in the depths of knowledge is expanded.  Classes are designed for the incarcerated offender to earn a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma.


  HSE Certificates CTE Certificates
2016-2017 406 2,349
2015-2016 499 2,611
2014-2015 290** 2,938
2013-2014 460** 2,927
2012-2013 618 3,672
2011-2012 640 3,676*
2010-2011 700 2,282
2009-2010 710 1,585
2008-2009 737 1,468
2007-2008 786 1,342

*This number increased due to the addition of a 12-week Introduction to Career Management For Success/Release For Success class.

**Due to the transition from GED to HiSET, there were fewer exams administered in the last of FY 2014 and the first of FY 2015.

Duplicate copies of a diploma may be requested at or by calling 855-313-5799.