Utah Department of Corrections

UDC Training Academy Earns Governor's Excellence Award

team photo

The Utah Department of Corrections Training Academy staff has received high honors for their strides in Leadership, Innovation, and Efficiency. The group was recognized on Thursday, May 9, during a ceremony honoring recipients of the "Governor's Award for Excellence."

The academy staff was recognized for virtually re-engineering their operations during the past two years. They rethought the way they managed training records, allowing for enhanced e-Learning capabilities aimed at improving overall quality, effectiveness and accessibility. They researched evidence-based techniques for program development and are currently working toward a training consortium, which seeks to coordinate resources with allied agencies to improve delivery of services and decrease costs. They have already saved about id="mce_marker"5,000 in supplies by converting pre-service to a virtual paper-free learning process.

The Academy graduated six classes during FY 2012, putting a total of 240 cadets through 112,000 hours of training. Of those who graduated, 140 were hired by the Department of Corrections, and 100 went to work for a county jail. The Academy also administered 111,000 hours of in-service training to Corrections' staff - approximately 50,000 of those hours were completed via e-Learning from offices. This focus allows staff to remain at the work place rather than traveling off site for training courses, which increases efficiency. The Academy's firearms unit has also revamped the handgun qualification course in a way that reduces necessary time and cuts down on ammunition costs.

The Academy staff have collaborated with various UDC divisions to meet individual training needs and achieve the agency's mission. Today, the majority of programs are self-sustaining and provide easy access for both allied agencies and internal trainers. The Training Academy is increasingly leading other programs and attracting interest. UDC's Training Acadmey has been asked to partner in hosting the International Association of Correctional Training Professionals Conference (IACTP), set for this fall.

But the Academy and its staff are not slowing down - they are shifting to a model of continuous improvement. Each year, the team develops a strategic plan - targeting improvements for example in professional skill development of the training team and extensive review of training programs. Training continually seeks to provide the most cutting-edge training available, which has benefited staff members in their jobs and translated into higher job performance with better results when dealing with the public and offenders.

From their nomination form: "It is by no mistake that the academy team has successfully delivered two consecutive years of 40 hours of in-service training to approximately 1900 staff with virtually zero concerns.  A secondary measurement of their great success is the number of compliments the academy has received over the course of the past two years.  They have received consistent feedback about the relevance, value, engagement, and professional delivery of training.  This team of professionals has raised the bar for delivery of training programs in the agency and set a new standard for the future."

Congratulations to all the recipients, who (in alphabetical order) were: Kurt Candelot, Sally Eakins, Stephanie Freitas, Angie Haifley, Aaron Horsley, Steven King, Betty Kingsford, Travis Knorr, William Luke, Geri Miller-Fox, John Reed, Spencer Turley, and Stacy Willden.