Welcome Challenge Academy graduates

Grads face audience with administrators standing on the stage behind them.
Challenge Academy graduates are introduced to the audience.

A new group of correctional officers is on the job at Idaho Department of Correction facilities statewide and at MTC’s CAPP facility south of Boise.

The 45 graduates of the MTC/IDOC Challenge Academy took the Oath of Honor June 13, 2014 at Gowen Field in Boise.

You can see photos of the ceremony here.

In his remarks, the president of the class, Jerry Jocelyn, urged his classmates to reach out and help each other if they should see a classmate stumble.

“We should always be there for support for each other and never be ashamed to ask for help or a hand up, because we are all human,” Jocelyn said.

Idaho State Correctional Institution Warden Keith Yordy delivered the graduation address. He told the graduates they will learn new skills on the job every day.

“Some of you won’t find this work comes naturally, and that’s okay,” Yordy said. “Add one tool at a time, and like me you’ll quickly find your box is getting full, and when you come across an incident you’re not completely equipped for, know that you will fall back on your training, and you’ll be okay.”

Unlike other correctional officer academies which are held at the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy in Meridian, the Challenge Academy was held at Gowen Field. The academy was created as a result of IDOC’s need to bring on extra officers before the department assumed operation of Idaho Correctional Center, now known Idaho State Correctional Center.

“We have had seven academies already scheduled at POST just to make all of our needs happen this year, and then with this new transition to ICC, we had an additional need to fill those spaces in a shorter time frame,” says IDOC training specialist Sarah Parent. “So in order to make that happen, to be up and running like we want to be July 1, we had to run this extra academy.”

IDOC collaborated with the Management and Training Corporation, the company which operates the Correctional Alternative Placement Program south of Boise, to put on the academy.

Parent says she was impressed by the bonds that formed between the Challenge Academy’s classmates.
“Without a doubt in my 2 1/2 years of being a training specialist, this was the most cohesive team I have ever seen,” Parent said.

Story published: 07/23/2014
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