By OPEC staff

“Promotion of excellence” is at the center of CDCR’s latest training approach. It recognizes, as Peter Drucker says, “knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement”. In keeping with that idea, additional training options will be available for all staff, from entry level to executives.

Beginning in November, the Basic Correctional Officer Academy will be extended while other areas of the department will also see enhanced training.

The 2018-19 Governor’s Budget provided funding to assist the Department in further enhancing training for all staff statewide.

Training hours will be increased as follows:

  • Forty hours will be added to the Basic Correctional Officer Academy beginning in November 2018. The additional topics will include, in-part, inmate rehabilitation, Correctional Fatigue to Fulfillment, procedural justice, cadet on-site institutional training, and diversity in the workplace.
  • Eight hours will be added to the Division of Adult Institutions’ (DAI’s) Off-Post Training Schedule for custody staff only beginning January 2019. Training topics will include, but not be limited to, ethics, the employee’s role in rehabilitation, inmate/staff interaction, and transportation.
  • Beginning in early 2019, there will be 40 hours added to the Advanced Academy courses, which include Basic Supervision, Advanced Supervision, Sergeants’ Academy, and Lieutenants’ Academy. Currently, both newly appointed custody and non-custody supervisors/managers are required to have 80 hours of training. Advanced Learning Institute will be adding new curricula, as well as updating current curricula, utilizing internal and external subject matter experts. CDCR will continue partnering with the California State University system to provide expert facilitators/instructors in topics such as the role of middle managers, ethics, implicit bias, strategic planning, and team-building.
  • CDCR’s Office of Internal Affairs, Office of Correctional Safety, and the DAI’s Investigative Services Units will participate in investigative training provided by Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to ensure they are kept current with industry standards. This training is being coordinated by the Division of Internal Oversight and Research and will begin this fiscal year.

Stacy Lopez, Associate Director of Peace Officer Selection and Employee Development, said she’s proud of the strides the Department has made with respect to improving all areas of training for cadets, field staff, and supervisors/managers over the past several years. Those improvements have reinforced departmental goals, emphasized the importance of employee wellness, and focused on employee development and career advancement.

Enhancements continue to be made to the Sergeants’ and Lieutenants’ Academies, and the Executive Development Orientation Program. CDCR will also continue the leadership programs offered by the California State University system, which emphasize ethical decision making and trust, strategic planning, and change management, as well as other subjects.

In her view, this is a turning point in CDCR training.

“The future of staff development is bright,” Lopez said. “Our current effort will further refine CDCR’s training programs to prepare staff at all levels to respond to work-place challenges and prepare them for taking on additional responsibilities as they progress in their careers.”