If I am under federal, state, or county supervision, what barriers might I face?

While you are under supervision, your parole or probation officer should fully support your efforts to pursue your education.[2714] However, sometimes even the normal conditions of supervision can get in the way, and make it difficult for you to reach your educational goals. Fortunately, there are ways to work around your restrictions and steps you can take to stay on track even while they are in place.

IMPORTANT: If you find that your parole or probation officer is not supportive of your efforts to get an education, or that the conditions of your supervision are so restrictive that they make it impossible for you to pursue your education, this might be a violation of your rights. You should contact an attorney who can advise you and look into getting your restrictive conditions lifted. (For more information, see the PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 125.)


Here are some of the common barriers that you might face when trying to pursue your education while you are under supervision, followed by suggestions that can help you achieve your goals in spite of the challenges:

I can’t get to school because I have travel limitations.

While you are on supervision you may have restrictions on how far you can travel, or you may not have reliable transportation, or you may have to rely on public transportation. All of these factors may limit where you can go to school.

Suggestion: Look into local schools and programs that are easily accessible for you and do not involve a long commute. You can also explore Distance Education and correspondence course options. You may even be able to use the computers at your local public library to take these courses. (For information on Distance Education see PG. 876 or for correspondence courses, see PG. 878. For information on resources at your local public library, see PG. 838.)

I can’t go to the school I want because I can’t move out of the area.

Similar to travel restrictions, while you are under supervision, you probably will not be allowed to move outside of the county or the state. If the school you want to go to is in another county or state, you may not be able to attend it.

Suggestion: Again, local schools and programs are your best bet. If you are located in a rural area where your options are severely limited, get started earning credits through Distance Education and correspondence courses. Once you’ve completed your term of supervision, you can transfer to the school you want to attend and bring your earned credits with you. (For information on Distance Education see PG. 876 or for correspondence courses, see PG. 878. For information on transferring credits, see PG. 875.)

I can’t fit school into my schedule because of restrictions on my time (“passes,” curfews, work requirements).

While you are under supervision, you may be restricted in the amount of time you can spend attending classes, or by the hours of the day that you are allowed to be away from home to attend. You may have a curfew imposed on you or you may be required to get a “pass” that is only good for a short period of time in order to leave your residence. You may also be required to work a certain number of hours a day, which leaves little time for school.

Suggestion: If you only have a limited amount of time to attend school each day, consider starting part time instead of full time. Take a class or two, and then build your schedule up when you are able. Also, Distance Education programs and correspondence courses are more flexible and can generally be worked around any schedule.

  1. 2714

    Cal. Dep’t Corr. & Rehab., Operations Manual, 101010.1–101010.4 (2015).