(NEW CASTLE) – Like so many other employers across Indiana, the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) has been impacted by members of the workforce contracting the COVID-19 virus. While other businesses may be able to operate with a reduction in their workforce, the unique duties performed by correctional staff must continue with proper staffing levels.
Fortunately for the IDOC, both the Indiana Army National Guard (INARNG) and the Indiana Air National Guard (INANG) were available for deployment to assist with exterior security operations. This allowed for the reassignment of regular IDOC staff to duties inside correctional facilities.
To prepare the guard members for their assignments, the IDOC Training Division conducted two-day training sessions at Purdue’s Northwest campus, near Westville, IN as well as at the Correctional Training Institute in New Castle, IN. All aspects of the training were designed to provide operational awareness during temporary assignments at select IDOC correctional facilities. Some points of training included defensive tactics, search practices, radio etiquette, use of restraints, recognizing criminal manipulation, and basic security principles. Once trained, the soldiers and airmen were able to assist with exterior perimeter safety patrols and other administrative duties.
“This joint agency cooperation helps ensure the safety and security of all of our staff and offenders,” said IDOC’s Jim Basinger, Deputy Commissioner of Operations. “The Indiana Army and Air National Guard have been an incredible ally during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate their service to the Indiana Department of Correction, the state of Indiana, and their country.”
Locations, where Guard members have been assisting, include the Plainfield Correctional Facility, where they are filling commissary orders, and at the Pendleton and Westville Correctional Facilities in support of exterior facility operations.
For more information on IDOC’s response to COVID-19 and offender and staff statistics visit our website.