Sponsored by Mercyhurst University North East and the Erie County Prison
The Corrections Academy is a four-week course of study certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. The purpose of the training is to prepare first year, incumbent officers for careers in jails, community corrections, and prisons. The training covers such diverse areas as dealing with special needs offenders to handcuffing and transporting inmates. Robust activities including self-defense and firearms are also critical parts of this module.
The outcome of the training is that the student receives a certificate stating that they have completed the basic training program for a corrections officer as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. With this certificate, graduates can be employed as corrections officers by county jails or community corrections centers.
The program was started in 1998 by then Erie County Prison Warden Art Amann through a grant to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Since that beginning, there have been numerous academy classes graduating over 1,000 officers and other related prison employees.
The program is one of the few state certified correctional officer training programs in Pennsylvania. Each year the academy is subject to audits by staff from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Trainers at the Academy are incumbent staff at one of the regional jails: Erie, Crawford, Warren, and Venango Counties. Most classes are held at the Erie County Prison, as the warden and his staff host the Academy and provide logistical support, meals and classroom space. All trainers are adjunct instructors at Mercyhurst University where academic services are provided as requested.
Individuals interested in attending the Academy must be currently employed by a correctional facility. More information can be obtained by contact the training officer at the Erie County Prison: 814-451-7500, or the Mercyhurst Public Safety Institute at: 814-725-6121.