NDCS new recruit class includes college program graduates

By CN personnel

LINCOLN, Neb. — Three graduates of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) new recruit class are kind of trailblazers. They are the first to complete the agency’s Staff Training Academy (STA) under the Corrections Workforce Development Pathways (CWDP) partnership between NDCS and Peru State College. The program offers $ 15,000 in tuition and an annual stipend to students who choose a career in criminal justice. While completing their classroom work in pursuit of their degree, students work as interns at Tecumseh State Correctional Facility (TSCI).

A total of 16 students graduated from Whitehall School on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. In addition to offering his congratulations, Governor Pete Ricketts told friends and family in attendance that they were essential in supporting those. who wanted to enter a difficult and stimulating profession.

“The NDCS partnership with the State of Peru is a unique initiative to connect talented students with opportunities in the state’s criminal justice system,” Governor Ricketts said. “The learning model provides students with the first-hand experience and on-the-job skills necessary to excel in a career in our correctional service. We are delighted to celebrate the program’s first graduates as they join our state team.

Peruvian State President Dr Michael Evans said the ceremony represented the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication and determination on the part of the students.

“They should be rightly proud of this honor. The State of Peru offers talented students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to meet the critical needs of the state and region, and these students are well prepared to launch impressive careers. We look forward to seeing them contribute to Tecumseh and beyond in any meaningful way. “

By keeping an eye on his future career goals, the program with the State of Peru and the NDCS will allow Gabriel Stolinski to pay the costs of his studies and, at the same time, gain the necessary professional experience. “I’ve always wanted to serve the public in one way or another because I come from a family with a lot of public servants,” Stolinski said. “Working for the Department of Corrections will allow me to do that and it will be a stepping stone to law enforcement. “

Paw Wah said he also recognizes that enrolling in the program is a unique opportunity. “It gives me a chance to work at TSCI to prepare myself for the reality of how the justice system works with the incarcerated population and help me gain more experiences.”

According to NDCS Director Scott R. Frakes, it is these experiences that will enable students to build careers in corrections. “Some people come into this field with the idea that it’s just a job. But there are many opportunities to learn leadership skills and promote. “

Frakes highlighted the directors and members of his leadership team, many of whom have decades of experience under their belt. “They have built lifelong careers in corrections, while serving the public good in a meaningful way. “

Students must apply to the program and are interviewed by representatives from Peru State College and NDCS, prior to selection. Those selected work part-time as agents at TSCI while attending school, with an opportunity for full-time employment after graduation.

“As their knowledge of corrections deepens and they gain more experience during the program, students will be able to join NDCS as first level supervisors,” Frakes explained. “The long-term value is the development of a cohort of highly educated and skilled correctional leaders, ready to meet the challenges of successfully leading the correctional workforce.

Cherise Womelsdorf said she is looking for a career that is personally fulfilling for her. This scholarship program does the trick.

“I always thought that the corrections would be part of my experience process,” said Womelsdorf. “As a single mom, I wasn’t sure how I was going to balance the kids, being a full-time student and a full-time commitment to the department. This program is convenient for me.

Over the course of the six weeks spent together, the students learned the various essentials of corrections – things like reinstatement, clinical treatment, behavioral health, classification, legal issues and more. Although they will not occupy armed positions, the students have been trained in the use of a firearm. They were also certified in CPR / first aid and learned self defense techniques.

“The students in the state of Peru were exposed to all the training that we would pass on to any other team member with immediate contact with the prison population,” Frakes noted.

Four more students from the state of Peru are completing their training at the academy and will also graduate in the coming weeks.

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