148-22.1. Educational facilities and programs for selected inmates.

(a) The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety is authorized to take advantage of aid available from any source in establishing facilities and developing programs to provide inmates of the State prison system with such academic and vocational and technical education as seems most likely to facilitate the rehabilitation of these inmates and their return to free society with attitudes, knowledge, and skills that will improve their prospects of becoming law-abiding and self-supporting citizens. The State Department of Public Instruction is authorized to cooperate with the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety in planning academic and vocational and technical education of prison system inmates, but the State Department of Public Instruction is not authorized to expend any funds in this connection.

(b) In expending funds that may be made available for facilities and programs to provide inmates of the State prison system with academic and vocational and technical education, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety shall give priority to meeting the needs of inmates who are less than 21 years of age when received in the prison system with a sentence or sentences under which they will be held for not less than six months nor more than five years before becoming eligible to be considered for a parole or unconditional release. These inmates shall be given appropriate tests to determine their educational needs and aptitudes. When the necessary arrangements can be made, they shall receive such instruction as may be deemed practical and advisable for them.

(c) The Secretary of Public Safety, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources, shall set the salary supplement paid to teachers, instructional support personnel, and school-based administrators who are Division of Prison employees and are licensed by the State Board of Education. The salary supplement shall be at least five percent (5%), but not more than the percentage supplement they would receive if they were employed in the local school administrative unit where the job site is located. These salary supplements shall not be paid to central office staff. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to include "merit pay" under the term "salary supplement". (1959, c. 431; 1967, c. 996, s. 13; 1985, c. 226, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 8; 2005-276, s. 29.19(c); 2011-145, s. 19.1(h), (i); 2012-83, s. 61; 2013-382, s. 9.1(c); 2017-186, s. 2(mmmmmmm).)