AROUND THE NEK- Ordinary people are being trained to be correctional officers in your own back yard.
The Vermont Correctional Academy trains you to be a correctional officer in just eight weeks. The first class graduated in 1993 and they have been around ever since. Every year they hold five to six training classes and at the end of eight weeks you can be a certified correctional officer. The classes aren’t small, each class they teach has around 35 people.
In the first week of training you are put into a facility right away where you shadow a senior officer or a field training officer. This gives them a look to what the job is really like and to see if they are still interested in the job.
For the next 5 weeks you go to the Vermont Department of Corrections Training Center in Lyndon. Here they will learn the core skill sets of a correction professional. Here you will meet Jonathan Leibold who has worked in this field for the past 12 years. “At the Academy we try to model the facility so we try to prepare them for the environment they will be going into,” Leibold said.
Even though Leibold works directly with correctional officers in training, he was never one himself. Leibold’s background is actually in the Military and working as a wastewater plant operator. “Honestly when I first took this job back twelve years ago I was honestly just looking for a state job’” Leibold said. What Leibold didn’t realize were the unofficial benefits he would receive when taking this position.
“It’s definitely like a team, we all work together, we live together and we spend holidays together,” he said. “It’s not just you go to work and you have people you work with like we are a family.”
After moving on from Leibold’s classes trainees go back to the facility for two weeks to finish out the program.
You can find more information about the Vermont Department of Corrections training here at http://www.doc.state.vt.us/involvement/careers-in-corrections/vca.