Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke and Ambassador Williams R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement signed an agreement today establishing an official partnership between VADOC and the U.S. Department of State to provide training and mentoring to foreign corrections officials.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed today at the Department of Corrections Academy for Staff Development in Crozier, Virginia. The MOU lays out the framework for federal-state cooperation with the international correctional counterparts.
“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 Ambassador Brownfield.
VADOC has hosted corrections officials from several foreign countries in recent years, introducing them to our brand of corrections, sharing best practices and offering advice regarding corrections matters. The partnership with the Department of State calls for VADOC to provide assistance in the form of training, mentoring and advising to foreign governments relative to international criminal activities.
“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,” added Director Clarke. “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.”
Additionally, INL will train VADOC personnel on international correctional standards, programs, country profiles and foreign assistance goals. The agreement also allows for the development of projects and activities to mutually benefit the participants.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Victoria Cochran, members of the VADOC executive team and VADOC staff.