Stockton Training  Center will host the Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy (BJCA) in April.

Stockton Training Center will host the Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy (BCJA) in April.

New Youth Correctional Officers, Counselors to be trained at different facility

By Joe Orlando, CDCR Public Information Officer

With so many new Correctional Officers currently in training, those who serve young offenders are about to receive training at a different facility.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is in the process of hiring thousands of Correctional Officers. The problem is with all those new recruits attending the academy in Galt, there’s no room for additional academies such as the Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy (BCJA) for Youth Correctional Officers (YCO) or Youth Correctional Counselors (YCC) to train.

“We’ve had 454 YCO/YCC candidates complete the written exam, and we’re now in the selection process,” said Steve Stone, Assistant Chief of the Office of Peace Officer Selection. “Twenty-five of those have completed background investigation and 11 have cleared medical and psychological testing and are ready to hire.”

Due to the capacity issues in Galt, BCJA will be held at the Stockton Training Facility beginning in April. They will go through the same rigorous 16-week course as other Correctional Officers, and if they graduate, they will end up working at any of the four Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities: O.H. Close, N.A. Chaderjian (both in Stockton), the Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp in Pine Grove or the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo.

Stacy Lopez, Chief of Office of Training and Professional Development (OTPD), said they partner with the DJJ to ensure cadets receive the required training.

The Stockton Training Center is scheduled to begin Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy training in April.

The Stockton Training Center is scheduled to begin Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy training in April.

“OTPD will provide instructors for general courses, and DJJ will provide instructors for special courses specific to DJJ juvenile population,” Lopez said.

Those special courses  include the Integrated Behavior Treatment Model (IBTM) and Role Playing, which are integral elements to the course structure taught at all DJJ facilities.

IBTM is designed to reduce institutional violence and future criminal behavior by teaching anti-criminal attitudes and providing personal skills to better manage their environment.

A case plan is designed and implemented for each youth to develop an individualized program to assess their special needs.

There are around 700 youth offenders as compared to the 119,000 inmates at state prisons.

“We have only 700 youth total. We’re just this little part of the big picture, but we have to make sure their needs are met,” said Greg O’Brien with DJJ. “We may only take 1 percent of the youth offenders in this state but they have the most pressing and special needs.”

O’Brien said two-thirds of the 50 cadets who will go through the first training class at the DJJ Training Academy in April will be Youth Correctional Counselors. The remainder will be Youth Correctional Officers.

He said the current YCOs and YCCs close to retiring is what determined the hiring numbers.

Why are so many Correctional Officers being hired?

CDCR expects to hire approximately 7,000 correctional officers by 2016 due to the increase in retirements.

Currently more than 1,800 CDCR peace officers retire annually. This outflow has led to an increased need to fill peace officer positions statewide.

Learn more about the department’s efforts to hire 7,000 Correctional Officers by 2016, http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2015/01/cdcr-is-hiring-7000-correctional-officers/

To learn more about employment opportunities with CDCR, visit https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Career_Opportunities/