24 Department of Correction recruits graduate from initial training, begin assignments in state prison facilities

Dover – The Department of Correction’s 2,500-strong workforce was strengthened today with the addition of 24 individuals when the latest recruit class graduated from the Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) academy. CEIT is a 9-week course of instruction combining hands-on and classroom training that prepares new Correctional Officers and other staff for assignments in prison facilities across the state. Recruits are taught proficiency in a wide variety of subject areas, including inmate supervision, weapons familiarization, defensive tactics, emergency preparedness, report writing, substance abuse training, CPR/Basic First Aid and inter-personal communication.

During today’s ceremony, Commissioner Robert Coupe advised the graduates to be mindful each day of the multiple, yet complementary, responsibilities they are charged to fulfill as “guardians”: guardians of public safety, guardians of fellow employees and visitors in their assigned facilities, and guardians of the inmates under their supervision. “The challenge,” he said, “is to be cautious and suspicious with those that you encounter, all the while treating those you are entrusted to supervise with respect. You are the guardians of our facilities, whether you serve as a correctional officer, a teacher or a counselor, you have the responsibility to ensure a safe environment in our facilities, to maintain order and to respect those that you are entrusted to supervise.”

Today’s graduates consisted of 19 Correctional Officers, 2 Correctional Officer/Food Services Specialists, 2 Department of Education Teachers, and 1 Correctional Counselor. During the ceremony, Correctional Officer candidates took the oath of office and received their facility assignments. Correctional Officer candidate Lansana Donzo was named Outstanding Cadet by Department of Correction training staff, and Correctional Counselor candidate Katelyn Ealer was selected by her peers as class speaker.

Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) Class 208
Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) Class 208

CEIT Class 208 was led by the instruction team consisting of Primary Instructor, Staff Lt. Bernell Williams, and Instructors, Corporals Marcel Brown and Dean Edge, along with Drill Instructors, Corporals Latanya Smith, Otis Smith, and William Benton. A photo of today’s graduating class is attached, with Commissioner Robert Coupe, Cpl. Marcel Brown, Staff Lt. Bernell Williams, Cpl. Dean Edge, and Deputy Commissioner Perry Phelps seated at front, left to right respectively.

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