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An Introduction to EBI at CRDF



Here at CRDF, Education-Based Incarceration is transforming how female inmates are being incarcerated by giving them access to furthering their education and vocational skills, which has been scientifically proven to lower the recidivism rate.



Focusing on a student's individual needs, the quality short-term courses help strengthen the inmate's personal development and adjust to a new, success-oriented life. A variety of programs offered by EBI include parenting skills, life skills, sewing, culinary arts, computer operations and earning a General Education Degree.



One significant program available is the Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT) progression. MERIT students (inmates) progress through five successive levels: MERIT Beginnings, MERIT Life Skills, MERIT Graduates, MERIT Masters, and MERIT Continuum.



MERIT Beginnings is the first step in the progression. This program is available to general population inmates and facilitated by MERIT Masters inmates. The facilitators present the first-level MERIT Life Skills training. The MERIT Beginnings instructors help their students create and organize goals and objectives which they can use when they are ultimately released from custody. Students who have completed this six-week program are then given the opportunity to be transferred to the MERIT Life Skills program. The MERIT Life skills program is the second step in the progression. In this 12-week course, the student chooses to separate herself from the constraints of general population inmates and "jail politics." The student inmate now lives in a dorm comprised exclusively of inmates with the same commitment to change. The program is facilitated by dedicated Los Angeles Sheriff's Department staff, LA Works instructors, and volunteers who embrace the belief that incarcerated individuals can invoke profound change in their lives. The core component of MERIT is this Life Skills course. This component is comprised of five subjects geared toward enhancing cognitive thinking skills in the following areas: personal relationships, parenting, anger management, drug education, and spiritual growth. Sheriff Baca's support of the MERIT program has revolutionized the way we incarcerate and reduced the rate of recidivism with a proven model of success.




Sheriff Baca with a MERIT graduate


Captain Nunez with MERIT graduates


MERIT graduation




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