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.