Four Wyoming Honor Farm staff members graduate from academy

Dec 28, 2012 Staff

Two uniform staff and two non-uniform staff from the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton graduated from the Wyoming Department of Corrections Training Academy on Dec. 19.

The fourth graduating class of the year included a total of 56 students, 29 uniform staff and 27 non-uniform staff from the five correctional institutions in Wyoming. Those staff will now return to their job duties at their various offices.

Wyoming Department of Corrections Training Academy Manager Peter Norris served as the keynote speaker to the graduates and families.

"Not everything we do in the field of corrections is black and white," Norris said. "That's one thing that makes this new career of yours so exciting. You have the opportunity every day to exercise some level of discretion, in some small way at least."

The next academy class starts Jan. 7. The academy is offered four times throughout the year for staff and officers who need the training. The Peace Officer Standards and Training certified basic training academy is 10 weeks of intense curriculum and includes one week of job shadowing. All staff members new to the department participate in the first week of training.

All new staff hired to work at one of the institutions attend the first five weeks, which include extensive training in communications skills and de-escalation techniques such as verbal judo and motivational interviewing (a verbal technique proven to promote positive behavioral change in offenders).

Correctional officers continue their training for the second five weeks with subjects such as Wyoming case law, WDOC policies and procedures, report writing ethics, and managing inmate behavior. All staff members receive staff safety training and tactics training as well.

The academy is located at Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. It provides training for the department and consists of a training manager, six full-time trainers and an administrative assistant.

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