The Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) hired 1,333 new correctional officers between August 2014 and July 2015. Its latest group of 101 cadets graduated from Basic Correctional Officer Training in late July 2015 and will work in 11 different correction facilities across the state.
These new officers demonstrated a high degree of commitment to graduate from the program, since about 10% of the starting cadets don’t finish. Their training involved intensive study in conflict resolution, self-defense, and health and gun certification. Correctional officers received training in using revolvers and shotguns, and coursework also involved dealing with substance abuse and controlling contraband.
The training program started with two weeks at their assigned prison followed by four weeks at the Tennessee Correction Academy under the supervision of the drill instructor unit. The final step was two weeks of job shadowing at their assigned correctional facility.
Basic Correctional Officer Training classes are currently scheduled through June 2016, since the TDOC is heavily recruiting for new correctional officers. West Tennessee has a particular need for corrections officers, and a training class there started just two weeks ago.
The TDOC is committed to providing a safe working environment for its correctional officers and has been continually enhancing its security procedures. This had demonstrable effects with the number of incidents reduced by 23% in the current fiscal year.
The Tennessee Correction Academy is highly regarded and was the second correctional training academy in the country to be fully accredited by the American Correctional Association. Correctional Administrators visit the academy from around the county to learn how to establish high-grade training programs in their state.