Colorado Launches International Training Center

by Cheryl Ahumada, Colorado Correctional Industries and Don Stolworthy, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State

CCi International Correctional Management Training Center staff

CCi International Correctional Management Training Center staff

In partnership with the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Colorado Correctional Industries (CCi), a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), has begun operation of a residential corrections training center to provide training to corrections officials from foreign countries. The International Correctional Management Training Center (ICMTC) is being funded through a grant provided by INL.

INL, which provides foreign assistance in the counter narcotics and criminal justice sectors, has been partners with the Colorado Department of Corrections since 2008. During the last four years, INL and CDOC have worked together to provide training to officials from Mexico, Central America, North Africa, South America and South
Central Asia.

As demand for U.S.-based training grew, INL and CDOC discussed many different options for meeting this demand and for improving the way these services were delivered. In August 2011, INL awarded the grant to CCi to transform the decommissioned Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colorado into the ICMTC. The first training provided at the ICMTC was for Mexican penitentiary officers in high risk prisoner transport in September 2011.

The ICMTC is staffed by Colorado DOC and CCi employees and trainers, who provide the
requisite expertise in all fields of corrections. Because of its proximity to the East Canon City Prison Complex, trainees at the ICMTC are able to observe operations in a variety of correctional settings, from minimum-security to administrative maximum-security, and have access to the wide array of correctional specialists working in these locations. Field observations are a proven method for demonstrating correctional best practices concepts, which are then reinforced through classroom instruction and practical application in the housing units located at the ICMTC as well as different venues through CDOC.

Courses offered at the ICMTC include institutional management, classification, case management, emergency management and response, correctional industries, facilities maintenance, prisoner transportation, support services, records, medical, human rights, and probation and parole. All courses are approved by INL’s team of correctional specialists for content and applicability to the participating country’s legal system, capacities and resources, and cultural expectations.

The mission for INL’s correctional programs is to assist nations, particularly those in conflict, emerging from conflict, and emerging democracies so that they may develop and sustain the capacities to operate prisons and correctional systems that are safe, secure, humane, and transparent and conform to internationally accepted standards and norms. The ICMTC is an important element in assisting INL with achieving this important mission.

Language interpretation is provided to ensure that all instruction is properly conveyed to the students. Approved languages are English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Urdu, Pashto, and Dari. CCi and CDOC receive benefits by challenging their personnel to examine the underlying philosophies behind best correctional practices; challenging their creativity to solve problems, such as how to keep records in areas without paper, literacy or electricity; by expanding their ability to communicate across languages and cultures; and by learning lessons from our partner nations as they apply what they have learned at the ICMTC. The offenders associated with this program also benefit from this partnership; CCi employs 40 offenders, teaching relevant trades in hotel management such as culinary arts, housekeeping, maintenance, and landscaping.

For further information about CCi’s International Correctional Management Training Center, please contact Jack Laughlin at (719) 440-2234.