In the early 1980’s there was a turning point in Correctional Education in Alberta. It was a time when the basic nature of education in prisons was being questioned At this time the Justice system was responding to a paper by Andy Stojak outlining a new approach to education for incarcerated persons. Mr. Stojak’s vision involved broadening the scope of correctional education and expanding the selection of topics in the areas of academics, personal development and trades. Local Colleges, Vocational Centres and School Boards were contacted to bid on contracts in the various prisons in Alberta. This was the beginning of the delivery
structure that now exists in Correctional Education throughout Alberta.
With the beginning of this new structure, various educators within the system decided to hold a conference and pull together all Correctional Educators from across Alberta for a networking experience. The conference was held at Lakeview College and the first official meeting of the Alberta Correctional Education Association (ACEA) was held. The association was organized and a constitution was quickly developed. Officers were voted in and the ACEA was born.
Over the years, the ACEA has developed through it’s annual conference, political lobbying and an extensive networking, to become a well recognized Association for Correctional Educators. The organization has matured to include all correctional education organizations in the Province including Provincial and Federal Departments of Justice and Young Offenders. Monies have been received from both the Provincial and Federal Governments, to fund joint projects such as the Aboriginal Project; a way for the members to share their experiances working with aboriginal communities.
The ACEA prides itself on its close liaison with the Governments of Alberta and Canada ensuring the continuing enhancement of education to incarcerated persons in the Province of Alberta.
– Lehi Heath