First Corrections Citizens Academy to meet

DOVER – The Department of Correction Tuesday announced the launch of its first Corrections Citizens Academy to run on Wednesday nights from April 22 through May 20.

This five-week program is designed to familiarize community members with the operations of Delaware’s largest law enforcement agency and provide insight into how the DOC achieves its dual mission of public safety and offender rehabilitation, the DOC said.

The academy gives participants the opportunity to engage with DOC leadership, uniformed officers and a wide range of professional staff as they obtain an “inside the walls” perspective on Delaware’s correctional system.

Sessions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DOC Administration Building in Dover, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna and the Probation and Parole Regional Office in Dover.

“The Department of Correction is Delaware’s largest law enforcement agency with more than 2,000 dedicated professionals who supervise thousands of individuals within our criminal justice system every day,” said Deputy Commissioner Monroe Hudson.

“Our Citizens Academy gives members of the public a unique opportunity to see first-hand how our correctional system contributes to public safety and supports offender rehabilitation. Our goal is to deepen public awareness of our mission through information sharing, dialogue and engagement and to build a strong partnership between the DOC and residents of the communities we serve. I hope you will consider joining us.”

There is no cost to participate in the academy. Class size is limited and applicants must complete and pass a simple background check as part of the application process, the DOC said.

The DOC said it seeks a diverse group of participants who can apply by completing a short application and background check form. That form is posted online at doc.delaware.gov.

Participants do not need to have any corrections or law enforcement experience to participate. Completed applications should be returned to Jason.Miller@Delaware.gov by March 31.

The DOC said its Citizens Academy is built around informational presentations, demonstrations, class discussions and tours of prison and probation and parole facilities.

Sessions will focus on a variety of topics, including organizational structure, training, prison operations, community supervision methods, medical and behavioral health treatment, vocational training and education as well as the DOC’s role in coordinating Delaware’s statewide multi-agency reentry initiative.

Participants will gain an understanding of how DOC assesses offender needs and risks and leverages technology, training, communication, and collaboration to meet their needs, mitigate those risks, support reentry success and reduce Delaware’s recidivism rate.

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