Today, the academic options at Auburn Correctional Facility include Adult Basic Education (ABE), a High School Equivalency (HSE) program, and an English as a Second Language (ESL) program, as well as the Cornell Prison Education Program. Vocational education programs include computer repair, electrical, barbering, masonry, upholstery, building maintenance, drafting, custodial maintenance and welding.
A number of facilities in New York State offer on-site college level credit-bearing courses for inmates who possess a verified high school equivalency or high school diploma. These programs are privately funded and offer certificates, Associate and/or Bachelor degree programs.
Since the 2000s, Auburn offers the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) through the Cayuga Community College Associate’s Degree Program.
CPEP’s work supports a regional collaboration that brings together Cornell faculty and graduate students to teach a college-level liberal arts curriculum to a select group of students at Auburn Correctional Facility and Cayuga Correctional Facility. The credits can be applied toward an associate’s degree from Cayuga Community College.
- New York State spends $60,076 to incarcerate a person for one year. The cost savings for the NYS taxpayer attributable to the Cornell Prison Education Program in reduced re-incarceration rates could likely pay for the entire program, with surplus savings that could be used to subsidize the education of others. Thus, the Cornell Prison Education Program could be considered a mechanism to reduce the scope of prison, save the taxpayer money, and re-direct resources toward more positive futures.
The first commencement in June 2012 saw the conferral of 16 Associate in Arts degrees from Cayuga Community College.
As of 2017, the Auburn Correctional Facility continues to be a walled, maximum security prison for male convicts. With around 850 employees, the prison is the second largest employer in Cayuga County. Several men and women who work at the prison today represent the third, or even fourth generation in their families to do so. It is the city’s longest lasting business.
New York State operates 17 maximum security prisons, 16 for male convicts and one for female convicts.