In a Brazilian prison, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a person serving time for stealing car stereos to be housed with a gang member accused of multiple murders.The Brazilian prison system’s lack of a classification system has garnered criticism from human rights groups like Amnesty International and the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. A proposed corrections training center in Colorado might help to address these problems by training Brazilian and other international officials in improving their prison systems.
The center is the first of its kind and will be part of an ongoing collaboration between the CDOC and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). It will allow INL and CDOC to work with different foreign partners to develop programs to fit their specific needs, State Department spokesperson Susan Pittman told Security Management, Wednesday.
The State Department announced Tuesday that a $1.5 million grant will turn the former Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility in Cañon City, Colorado, into the International Correctional Management Training Center. The center will provide training for international corrections officials from countries like Brazil where the prison systems are still developing or plagued with problems. The grant provides start-up money and one year of funding for in-residence training courses.
“[The center will train] Different groups that need assistance stabilizing their criminal justice system, and of course prisons are a part of that. You can’t have a safe and secure and fair criminal justice system without having well run prisons,” spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), Katherine Sanguinetti told Security Management.
“In the past two years we’ve worked a lot on Central and South America. We’ve trained four groups of Mexicans on different aspects of the parole system for example,” Sanguinetti said. In the recent past, groups of architects and case managers from Brazil were trained in building prisons with different security classifications and assigning prisoners to different custody levels, for example, while Mexican parole officers trained for high-risk transports.They’ve also trained staff from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize.