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Oct 20, 2022

Prison Wardens Get Their Certifications as Corrections Officers

Today, a cohort of thirty employees at the Belize Central Prison, including prison wardens and other members of staff, was awarded for having completed the first-ever Corrections One Academy Online program.  The unique program features a serious of courses on professionalism at prison, and promoting human rights, as well as organizational skills that should be used in carrying out their daily mandates. In short, these employees are now qualified prison officers. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was a proud moment for a group of thirty prison officers and staff at the Belize Central Prison who took on a professional development course.  The Corrections One Academy Online program is a training that helps the graduates to prepare for a wide range of incidents that can occur in a prison. Criminal justice professor, Doctor Jarrod Sadulski, of the American Military University, facilitated and coordinated the unique training opportunity.


Jarrod Sadulski

Dr. Jarrod Sadulski, Associate Professor, American Military University

“It’s an online program that provides professional corrections training that helps officers grow in their professional development; that helps them grow to understand how they do their daily tasks a little more professionally. The course is focused on professionalism to managing emergencies in the prison to dealing with various different types of incidents that happen on a daily basis in prisons. They have to have an eighty percent to pass. Most officers had around the ninety or ninety and above, but all officers had at least eighty-five percent or better, which just shows their dedication because these courses were difficult courses.”


The officers had to engage in the courses voluntarily on their off days. Having successfully completed the course will help to further the mission and goals of the Kolbe Foundation, which is to ensure that inmates and others on remand are dealt with professionally.


Virgilio Murillo

Virgilio Murillo, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation

“Working in a prison is a very tough job. It takes people with a special character to make it in an environment like this. Like I said earlier in my opening remarks, we end up with all the societal ills, antisocial behaviour and even criminal thinking and we are the last stop so to speak by the courts. We are the last option to manage people who have failed alternative punishments. You gotta be dynamic, you gotta be versatile, you have to be skilful if you are going to make an impact and turn these people’s lives around. So you cannot overemphasize the need for professionalism and the need for respecting human rights and respecting the rule of law in this environment.”


The program focused on topics such as leadership versus management, ethical behaviour in prisons, hostage taking situations, riot control, intelligence gathering, escorting and supervising prisoners among other issues.


Miguel Perdomo

Miguel Perdomo, QRT Commander, Belize Central Prison

“For me it was a little difficult because I was doing simultaneous training. I was at Operation Tradewinds in Belmopan with the police and at the same time had to do this tedious course in the night. So for me, it was a bit challenging, but very helpful to all staff.  I base myself on the tactical approach based on my position. As the QRT commander my task is to control, deploy. I have these guys that have to respond to various situations and things that we have to think about right off the top of our head. We don’t have chances sometimes to plan; if we do, then it works out in our benefit. But a lot of time in this environment, planning is a no go.”


Kenrick Burns

Kenrick Burns, Director, Ashcroft Rehabilitation Center

“I’ve been here fourteen years with the prison and one of the unique things I found out is the course in ethics and it takes a lot about that these are unsolved issues and people come here from society and they have needs. And as a prison officer or civilian, if we don’t model good ethics and good moral and good characteristics, it is hard for them to change. So how it impact me is to be more aware of what I say what I do and how I behave even outside the prison.”


There is a natural tendency to look at prison officers as corrupt and abusive persons and with the certification, prison officers can now proudly declare their profession. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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