Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NMCD International Class Helps Strengthen Prisons Across the World

Did you know the Corrections Department had the first accredited academy in the country? Since then we have expanded and developed our programming into one of the most comprehensive and modeled training academies in the country.

(Check out our blog post on Life in Prison from January 29 for a glimpse into our academy)

Our training doesn't just stop with our prison and Probation and Parole officers, but we also have an international training class where our instructors train prison officers from Mexico.
The MERIDA INITIATIVE (also called Plan Mexico) is a security cooperation agreement between the United States and the governments of Mexico and the countries of Central Ameica (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.  Haiti and Dominican Republic were added later) with the declared aim of combating the threats of drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and money laundering.

The New Mexico Corrections Training Academy received its first group of "International Cadets" on Sunday, March 15, 2009.  The group included 22 male and 2 female correctional officers from the 4 federal correctional facilities that were in existence in the Republic of Mexico at the time.  The twenty-four cadets trained for six weeks here in Santa Fe, NM, and upon graduating returned to Xalapa, Veracruz Mexico to become the first Federal Corrections Training Academy Instructors.

Since then, NMCA has trained and graduated 569 cadets/instructors (434 male and 135 female) from 4 different countries (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras).  International Class #7 was what I believe to be "historical" as NMCA joinlty trained 58 cadets from 4 distinct countries (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras). The last international group, International Class #19 was the first group of cadets from the Mexico state prison system. The NMCA has also trained and graduated 18 K-9 Handlers (15 male and 3 female) in two separate International K-9 Academy courses.