Voluntary Education Program

Voluntary Education Program (VEP) offers offenders access to educational programming when an educational assignment is not available and/or to supplement traditional educational programming. Offenders are enrolled in this program and have no assigned hourly attendance requirements. The program is open entry/open exit.

VEP includes literacy, adult secondary education, and/or college services. It offers participants the opportunity to continue progressing toward academic achievements including the attainment of a high school equivalency certificate (high school diploma or GED) and/or a college degree.

Currently, 22 different California Community Colleges provide VEP college programming inside the prisons in a Face-to-Face (F2F) setting and/or via correspondence courses. The F2F college program is operational at 34 institutions. Over 10,000+ incarcerated students are currently enrolled in VEP college programs.

Students who participate in VEP college courses receive academic support as needed, including teacher-assisted tutoring, peer tutoring, test-proctoring, and limited access to used textbooks (as materials are available). Student progress is monitored, and course completions are verified and reported. Students may be eligible to earn Milestone Completion Credits and/or Educational Merit Credits through participation in VEP.

Click [ HERE ] for printable information on VEP.


All institutions.


The program is designed to provide students support, as needed, in order for them to be able to succeed in their academic pursuits. For some students, this support may begin at the very basic level and may last throughout their academic program; for other students, support may begin at the college level and may be used for a short time.

Program length is determined either by college (i.e., quarter or semester system) and/or the number of units required to complete an Associate Arts, Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral Degree.


Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) testing, if applicable. For college, any student who meets the college program standards may participate.


All offenders are eligible to participate in VEP. Students are responsible for their own enrollment into college and finances associated (tuition, fees, text and course material fees, etc.).

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An offender who is serving, or has served, their time on good behavior has access to many rehabilitative services and programs if they are determined to be in need.
See Rehabilitative and Educational Services

Specific Rehabilitative Offices:

Rehabilitative programs are the best way for an offender to be prepared for success upon release. The link below explains this process with an easy-to-follow diagram

See Rehabilitative Process

See Technology Solutions for more information.

Technology has opened the door to more educational opportunities while simultaneously reducing government spending. Below is a list of technology initiatives at CDCR.

See Rehabilitative Program Videos for DRP program information and general insight of CDCR's offender rehabilitation.