CROZIER, Va. — The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) entered into a partnership with the U.S. Department of State to provide training and mentoring to international corrections officials.
VADOC Director Harold Clarke and Ambassador Williams R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Feb. 14 at the Department of Corrections Academy for Staff Development in Crozier. Effective immediately, the agreement lays out the framework for federal-state cooperation with the international correctional counterparts and will remain active until Dec. 31, 2021.
“The ability to tap into the tremendous expertise of VADOC will be a major asset in our efforts to safeguard Americans from dangerous crime which, in today’s globally connected world, often originates beyond our borders,” said Brownfield in a statement.
VADOC already has a history of hosting international corrections officials, providing education on the VADOC brand of corrections, sharing best practices and providing advice in regard to corrections. The MOU asks VADOC to continue to provide assistance in the form of training, mentoring and advising to foreign governments related to international criminal activities, according to a statement.
“I think Virginia was chosen for this partnership because we have demonstrated to the nation and to the world that we are leading in the area of corrections in many respects,” said Director Clarke in a statement. “We are on the cutting edge, and our low rate of recidivism is the first indicator of the fact that we are a very successful agency.”
The partnership will also involve INL training VADOC staff on international correctional standards, programs, country profiles and foreign-assistance goals. It also allows both parties to develop projects and programs that will mutually benefit both participants.