Taking an inside look: Correctional officer training in the East

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Besides bars, a vital piece of keeping prisoners secure falls under correction officers.

They spend their days monitoring some of the hardest criminals.

“Some are good, some are bad,” said Alvin Laws, correctional training coordinator for the Eastern Regional Training Office. “And what we want them to do is act accordingly.”

While also keeping a close eye on the inside and outside of the prison.

“Lesson plans of contraband search is to teach the officers to control the floor of contraband by safe searches and safe search practices,” said Laws.

Correctional officers train hard to make sure anything the prisoners shouldn’t have stays out of the prison boundaries.

“These are acts that work. They’ve been proven time and time again,” said Laws. “That’s what we want to instill…the things that we know work.”

Along with keeping contraband out, the Department of Public Safety said at the top of the priority list is keeping officers and prisoners safe.

“The department is always looking at policies and procedures and technologies and ways to improve operations overall,” says Pamela Walker, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety. “And are continually looking to make our prisons safer.”

“We equip them with the things that they need to hopefully protect themselves,” says Law. “When Officer Kent had me, she established control early. When the other officer was making it easier on the inmate, it was possible because he felt more in control.”

The department hopes combining these techniques with an early orientation program for new officers will help keep everyone safe.

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