(A) The department of rehabilitation and correction shall establish and operate a school system that is approved and chartered by the department of education and designated as the Ohio central school system to serve all of the correctional institutions under its control. The Ohio central school system shall provide educational programs for prisoners to allow them to complete adult basic education courses, earn Ohio certificates of high school equivalence, or pursue vocational training. To that end, the department may employ appropriately certified teachers, administrators, and support staff. The department shall provide classrooms, shops, and other appropriate facilities and necessary furniture, books, stationery, supplies, and equipment.
(1) The department of rehabilitation and correction shall require each prisoner who has not obtained a high school diploma to take courses leading toward an Ohio certificate of high school equivalence, an Ohio high school diploma pursuant to section 3313.61 of the Revised Code, or courses that provide vocational training. If a prisoner has obtained a high school diploma, the department shall encourage the prisoner to participate in a program of advanced studies or training for a skilled trade.
(2) The department of rehabilitation and correction shall adopt rules that prescribe disciplinary actions that the department may take if a prisoner refuses to participate in an educational program required under division (B)(1) of this section.
(3) The failure of the department of rehabilitation and correction to provide, pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section, an opportunity for any prisoner to participate in courses that lead toward an Ohio certificate of high school equivalence or an Ohio high school diploma, or that provide vocational training, does not give rise to a claim for damages against the department.
(C) The department of rehabilitation and correction, for a clearly established medical, mental health, or security reason, may exclude certain prisoners from the requirement to take courses pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section. Any exclusion under this division shall be only for a clearly established medical, mental health, or security reason. Within six months after the effective date of this amendment, the department shall adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to establish the criteria and procedures for an exclusion under this division.
Effective Date: 03-31-2003