The Warren County Prison is instituting a new correctional officer online training program to save costs, increase the opportunity for officers to improve their professional development and help them have the tools they need to increase their knowledge and abilities.
Greg Deivert, deputy warden for the Warren County Prison, said on Thursday, "The program is called the Corrections Online Training Collaborative. The course content is approved and accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and administered through Relias Learning."
"The program content has over 200 online courses dealing strictly with Corrections. It runs the gamut from new case law, to dealing with mentally ill inmates to first aid and fire safety There is a myriad of subjects," he added. In addition to required courses, officers will have the ability to take elective courses."
"Each course is approved by ACA and qualifies for continuing education credits. A certificate will be printed out upon successful completion of each course and will be kept in the officer's training file. Some of our staff will be trained to handle the administrative functions, like maintaining the training files."
He continued, "The beauty of this program is the officer can log on and spend a few minutes reading content and study the material at their own pace. It can also be accessed at home if the officer would rather work on it there. The cost to the county per employee is less than $10 per month."
"Typically, when we send an officer away to training the county has to provide transportation, food, lodging and cover their shifts by calling in another officer on overtime. In addition many of the trainings have a tuition fee which can run into the hundreds of dollars," he said.
Asked about savings, he replied, "Over a period of a year, I would say it will save five to ten thousand dollars. But that's just an estimate."
"While this program will not eliminate all out of town training, it will keep the officers up to date on changes in corrections and be a source of material they can access to improve their professional development."
Deivert said there are 26 full-time officers on staff, and several part-time employees that can take advantage of the program.
"It was just approved by the (county) commissioners, and they (Relias Learning) sent us contracts to sign. It should be up and running by September," he concluded.