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PA Department of Corrections graduates 63 new parole agents

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– Sixty-three men and women graduated from the 131st Basic Training Academy (BTA) of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections last week and have been assigned to district parole offices and prisons throughout the state.

“This is the first class of new parole agents under the Memorandum of Understanding with the Board of Probation and Parole,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel. “We are excited to welcome these dedicated men and women into the corrections field as part of our unified mission.”

The 12-week long training program focuses on a professional development curriculum critical to developing the skills of probation and parole staff in achieving the mission of public safety and reducing recidivism. The training program now includes:

  • EPICS: Effective Practices for Community Supervision is designed to further incorporate evidence-based practices within the confines of a typical offender supervision contact;
  • Up-to-date training on infectious diseases, drug and alcohol addictions and recovery programs and mental health issues;
  • Enhanced defense tactics to ensure the safety of the agent and the offender;
  • Recognition of gangs and other security threat groups;
  • Specialized case management of sex offenders;
  • Using risk and needs assessments to assist with successful offender reentry into the community; and
  • Training to help assess domestic violence situations and responses to Protection From Abuse orders.

Executive Deputy Secretary for Community Corrections and Reentry George Little was the keynote speaker.

“We are beginning life as a new brand based on integrity, responsiveness and excellence,” Little told the graduates. “Together we will protect the public while turning lives around.”

In addition, Executive Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore Smeal; Deputy Secretary of Field Services Christian Stephens and Deputy Secretary for Reentry Luis Rosa addressed the graduates.  PA Board of Probation and Parole Chairman Leo Dunn administered the Oath of Office.

The graduates reported to their new assignments this week.

The graduation ceremony took place Friday at the Department of Corrections Training Academy in Elizabethtown.

SOURCE: Department of Corrections