NWRCC Offender Programming

Providing inmates with the opportunity to create lasting change through rehabilitative programming is an essential part of day-to-day operations at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center.  Robust programming options are provided to the inmate population through jail staff as well as volunteers from the community.

Please note that program options vary throughout the year.


 Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Year-round educational services are an integral component of total offender programming for offenders housed at the NWRCC.  Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes include GED preparation and testing, basic literacy skills, computer skills, employability skills, transitions to post-secondary skills and individual needs classes.  Classes are conducted weekdays including two evenings to accommodate students who are not in the facility during daytime classes.

Inmates are encouraged to review areas of their lives where the lack of skills are handicapping them, to set education goals, develop a plan with the instructors for meeting those goals while incarcerated and explore options for training and/or employment upon release.

Whenever possible, the materials used for development of basic academic skills relate to the students' interests and/or problems in daily living.  Students preparing to enter a vocational training program use materials related to their vocational choice areas in developing basic literacy and/or computational skills.

The NWRCC proudly hosts one of the few adult jail GED testing sites in the state of Minnesota.

In addition to GED testing, arrangements are now in place to allow for inmates to have limited access to the internet which will allow for access to the Northstar Digital Literacy program.  Northstar Digital Literacy is designed to assess and quantify digital literacy knowledge among lower-skilled adults and displaced workers who may lack these basic digital literacy skills.  The Northstar Standards have been adopted as statewide digital literacy standards by Minnesota Adult Basic Education

 Anger Management

This group teaches skills needed to manage anger effectively.  These skills include learning triggers for anger, creating anger control plans, relaxation techniques and interpersonal skills.

The goal of this group is to stop violence and the threat of violence, develop self-control over thoughts and actions and to receive support from others.

 Coping Skills

A psycho-educational group that teaches skills to help deal with stress, anxiety, anger, depression and any other distressing emotion or situation.  The group teaches skills such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, goal setting, emotional regulation and interpersonal skills.

The goal of the group is to give participants skills that they can use to handle distress appropriately and achieving balance in key areas of their lives - including emotions, relationships and work.

 Decision Points

The Northwest Regional Corrections Center utilizes offers a cognitive behavioral program called "Decision Points".  This curriculum believes that behavior can be learned and unlearned and there are a variety of cognitive-behavioral methods that have been developed to do just that.

This program combines aspects of cognitive skills training and cognitive restructuring.  Cognitive skills training teaches offenders the thinking skills necessary for pro-social living.  Cognitive restructuring aims to change offenders' anti social attitudes and beliefs.

 Domestic Violence Education Program

The Domestic Violence Education Program is designed to help individuals learn more about the causes and outcomes of domestic violence in a safe, non-judgemental environment.  It gives offenders knowledge, skills and self-awareness that can be used to improve their life and the lives of others around them.

This group gives offenders an opportunity to learn more about themselves and how they can live a life that does not involve violence by using cognitive behavioral methods taught throughout the curriculum.

 Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy

Volunteers from Tri-Valley Opportunity Council cover the following topics:

- Budgeting to create savings
- Debt reduction and asset building
- Building a good credit rating
- Consumer protection and financial institutions

 Healthy Relationships

A group that processes prior unhealthy relationships and helps to give them skills to avoid these in the future.  This group covers topics such as effective communication, problem solving and conflict resolution, how to know when a relationship is unhealthy, and how to make new friends and romantic partners.

The goal of this group is to create self-efficacy in relationships so that the participants can find non-toxic relationships of all kinds: family, friends, romantic partners and more.

 Substance Abuse Support Group

This group is led by non-licensed programming staff and the offenders.  Although it is not treatment based, it does provide offenders who struggle with addiction, materials and guidance that will assist in promoting self-help.

It gives the offender the opportunity to share their personal experiences, challenges, feelings and coping strategies in a safe and supportive space.  It promotes encouragement and advice for the road to their recovery.

 Other Programming Possibilities

  • Parenting with Praise
  • Religious Programming:
    Beautifully Broken (volunteer led)
    Jehovah's Witnesses (volunteer led)
    Adventist Christian Fellowship (volunteer led)
    Gideons (volunteer led)
    Native American Prayer Group (inmate led)