Department of Corrections Ends Prison Education Contract With Grace College

WINONA LAKE – Beginning Jan. 1, Grace College will no longer be providing educational services in Indiana’s northern prisons, according to Amanda Banks, Director of Public Relations for the college.

Grace holds the contract with the Indiana Department of Corrections for the northern prisons. Oakland City University holds the contract to provide educational services at the southern prisons.

Grace had been providing vocational, high school and college education to men in the state’s northern prisons since 2012. After Grace’s contract expires at the end of this year, IDOC will transition to using Oakland City for all state prisons. Oakland City retained 38 of the 40 teachers teaching in the prisons for Grace College. The two lost jobs are not local, Banks said.

“This change to eliminate the multiregional approach to bring the services under a single vendor was decided by the IDOC in order to avoid duplication of administrative services,” said Ike Randolph, communication director for IDOC.

According to records provided  by the IDOC, Grace College was paid more than $14 million over the five years administered the program.

“Grace College has enjoyed ministering and educating men in Indiana prisons for over 30 years. Beginning as a Bible study in 1986, our work soon became traditional undergraduate education in four state prisons with over 1,100 college degrees conferred. In 2012, Grace began to provide high school equivalency and vocational education.

“We have been privileged to witness countless lives changed through these programs. Recently, the state decided to transition to a single vendor for 2017 and Grace College was not chosen.

“We have the utmost respect and confidence in Oakland City University as they go forward with prison education in our state,” Banks said in a statement.