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On November 1, 2011, the Office of Correctional Education (OCE) and the California Institution for Men (CIM) teamed with Professor Renford Reese of Cal Poly Pomona to complement the academic services and educational programming for its population. PEP was introduced when the CIM II and CIM III facilities transitioned from their missions as reception centers, focused on short-term intake and evaluation of newly incarcerated inmates, to general population programming facilities. This change created an additional need for educational programming in each of these facilities. Due to economic challenges in California at that time, there had been significant reductions in educational resources in correctional facilities throughout the state. PEP helped fill the gap between resources and need, while creating a benefit to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the incarcerated, the college student volunteers, and ultimately California communities.

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