Psychological fitness for Arizona corrections officer cadets

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Corrections Officer Training Academy– or COTA– in Tucson takes as many as 1200 cadets a year and prepares them to work in state prisons.  Each seven week session holds 42 men and woman looking for a new career in corrections.  This time five in COTA group 1042 are training to work in the Yuma State Prison.  They spend hours in the classroom focusing on the psychology behind how to interact with inmates from minimum to maximum security.

Their class time focuses on crisis management as they deal with any issues inmates are coping with while in prison.  They learn to have greater awareness for those who may have gang ties to someone who may have lost a family member while in prison.

During the three phase process trainers say they see some cadets blossom into more secure individuals as they go through the program.  They spend the first two week earning a uniform but by week three they prepare for developing skills on all levels.  Commander Ivan Bartos says by the their phase they are treating cadets as if they are employees working a prison with the most high expectations.

Cadets graduate on November 20th, 2015.  They start their new career the next Monday.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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