Wisconsin’s first lady recognizes certain educators nationwide for their dedication to teaching in a correctional setting.

From jails, to juvenile detention centers, and a federal prison, first lady Jessica Doyle says it takes a special kind of person to teach at such facilities.

“They cover everything. They cover maximum security prisons and they cover juvenile jails. And I think it’s really important that we not forget about our correctional educators.”

In good economic times and bad, Doyle says educators find a way to connect with their students. She says she’s had the chance to observe their teaching methods.

“I’ve observed these teachers. I’ve observed these teachers in all kinds of facilities in Wisconsin and they find a way to connect each and every learner with learning.”

With the idea that there’s a correlation between education and reduced recidivism, the Correctional Education Association (CEA) supports correctional educators with quality educational programs, preparing students to reintegrate back into society, and increasing community awareness of correctional education.

“We forget about that. And I think that within the teaching profession there’s kind of a really great feeling that after you get to be a real expert and after you’re seasoned a bit, then the next challenge is correctional education.”

Chapters throughout the county gather in Madison to attend workshops and share with others what they’ve learned. Doyle says it’s informative to hear other teachers’ success stories as well as their challenges. Among other things, educators use manipulatives to teach GED writing skills, and help at-risk youth make sense out of math. In 1985 Wisconsin became first in the nation to form a state chapter of the CEA.

First lady Jessica Doyle spoke at the 64th annual Correctional Education Association Conference Monday in Madison. The event runs from July 19 through the 22nd.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:50 MP3)

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