First class in 3 years, Correctional officers train for prison riots


Cranston – After the federal government accused them of discriminating against minority candidates, prison officials held off on hiring correctional officers for three years
“We waited three years. Our ranks became depleted and I felt that there was a public safety necessity,” said Corrections Director A.T. Wall. “We had a testing process which had the effect of, not the intent but the effect of, discriminating against minority males, particularly Latino and African American males,” Wall said.

Over 50 candidates, men and women, which included Latinos and African American spent hours in tactical gear learning how to break up a riot at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections’ training academy.
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“There hasn’t been an actual riot in my career, which I’ve been here 10 years. So, I haven’t actually seen one. However, we do have large disturbances from time to time,” said Tiffini Isom, a training instructor.

Candidates will undergo nine weeks of training before they graduate on Nov. 14.