The Northern Marianas College has agreed to hold a Corrections Academy for cadets applying to join the CNMI Department of Corrections.
NMC, represented by former interim president of NMC Frankie M. Eliptico, signed a memorandum of agreement with DOC, represented by DOC Commissioner Wally F. Villagomez, last Wednesday at the college’s Board of Regents conference room that makes official a joint operation between the two institutions to run the Corrections Academy. Part of the agreement allows for DOC cadets who complete the academy to receive 40 college credits that could go toward earning a criminal justice degree at the college.
Also present at the signing was Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios in his capacity as acting governor.
DOC’s responsibilities to NMC in accordance with the agreement include providing the college with DOC staff and instructors to oversee the academy, as well as providing instructional equipment such as emergency vehicles, ammunition, firearms, vans, tactical gear, uniforms, and other equipment as needed. DOC will also comply with applicable NMC policies and procedures.
NMC’s responsibilities to DOC include making available the college’s many resources to DOC cadets, providing a certificate of completion and giving the appropriate amount of college credits toward a criminal justice degree upon finishing the Corrections Academy, and guaranteeing that it will comply with the DOC’s Training Rules and Regulations.
Palacios sees the academy as an opportunity to maintain ethical, respectful, and constitutional interactions between Corrections officers and inmates, and commended NMC for its partnerships with many other government agencies on Saipan.
“We want to make sure that the members of our community that are incarcerated are treated in the most respectful manner as [called for] by our Constitution,” he said. Eliptico welcomed the DOC personnel who were present and briefly mentioned past MoA’s that NMC has signed with the Department of Public Safety, Department of Fire & Emergency Medical Services, and the Department of Finance’s Division of Customs.
Villagomez said that talks between the DOC and NMC to create an MoA took place some time ago and he is happy to see the agreement come to fruition last Wednesday.