2012 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 31 Prisons and Prisoners
31-229 Functional literacy program; evaluation; certificate; exemptions; wages; definition
31-229. Functional literacy program; evaluation; certificate; exemptions; wages; definition
A. The director shall establish and administer a functional literacy program in each correctional institution in this state.
B. On commitment to the department, each inmate shall be given an educational evaluation, including a standardized assessment test in English or Spanish as selected by the department. Each inmate who fails to score the equivalent of a sixth grade literacy level on the standardized assessment test shall participate in the functional literacy program for a minimum of one hundred twenty instructional days of attendance unless the inmate is released from custody or demonstrates functional literacy before one hundred twenty instructional days have elapsed. Inmates who do not speak English shall take the standardized assessment test in Spanish. Inmates who are assessed to be functionally illiterate and non-English speaking shall participate in regular literacy program instruction or English as a second language program instruction if appropriate.
C. An inmate who cannot meet the functional literacy standard due to a medical, developmental or learning disability is not required to participate in the program unless it can be reasonably expected by the person in charge of the functional literacy program that the inmate would benefit from participation.
D. An inmate who on commitment to the department has less than six months of incarceration time to serve is exempt from the provisions of this section.
E. An identified functionally illiterate inmate who was committed to the department before January 1, 1994 may participate in the functional literacy program. An inmate who chooses to participate in the program must complete the one hundred twenty instructional days of attendance or demonstrate functional literacy before one hundred twenty instructional days have elapsed.
F. Except for inmates exempted under subsection C, inmates committed after January 1, 1994 may not receive a wage promotion for labor performed above the lowest wage paid in a job scale before reaching the functional literacy level. After attaining the functional literacy level, an inmate shall receive a wage promotion within the wage scale or a promotional opportunity to a more responsible and higher wage paying job.
G. Each inmate who successfully completes the functional literacy program shall be awarded a certificate of educational efficiency.
H. The board of executive clemency or other release authority shall take into consideration an inmate's successful completion of the functional literacy program when considering parole, pardon or other release action.
I. Pending the appropriation of additional educational resources, for inmates committed to the department after September 30, 1994, the functional literacy level shall be a seventh grade literacy level and for inmates committed to the department after September 30, 1995, the functional literacy level shall be an eighth grade literacy level as measured by standardized assessment testing.
J. This section does not apply to inmates:
1. For whom the department receives an order of deportation from the United States immigration and naturalization service.
2. Who are non-English and non-Spanish speaking.
K. As used in this section, "functional literacy" means the ability to read, write and perform basic mathematical computations and processes at or above the identified grade level.
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