Forty-four men and twelve women will graduate from the Rhode Island Department of Corrections' Correctional Officer Training Academy Class 79 on Friday, April 20th, at 2 p.m. at Rhode Island College's Gaige Auditorium in Providence. Of the 56 graduates, 53 (95%) will be offered a position on line beginning on Sunday, the 22nd. Fifty-two percent of this year's class is either female (22%) or a self-identified member of a minority group.
The traditional "Inspection of the Graduates" by Corrections Director Ashbel T. Wall II will take place at 1:45 p.m. and the official ceremony will begin at 2. Following an invocation by the RIDOC's Chaplain Janice Thompson Byers and a welcome by Paul Kennedy, Chief of Recruitment and Training, the Director will deliver a brief address. U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha will then deliver the keynote speech. Awards will be handed out, the class valedictorian will share remarks, the oath of office and certificates will be given by Director Wall, and finally the graduates will be presented and accepted by Director Wall, Assistant Director for Institutions & Operations David McCauley, and Paul Kennedy.
During the initial recruitment period, over 4,000 applications were received. Applicants had to pass a Director's interview panel, a video and written exam, a physical fitness test, a criminal history check, an extensive background check, a medical review, and psychological and drug tests in order to earn a slot in the class.
During the arduous nine-week Academy, participants underwent CPR certification, weapons qualification, on-the-job-training in the facilities, defensive tactics instruction, classroom instruction on the law as it relates to Correctional Officers and communications skills, and weekly exams. ####