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Dara Duncan, INL/CAP: I had the pleasure of meeting Director Clarke when I was at an international
conference about two years ago and he had lots of creative ideas about things that I
could be doing from the vantage point of the State Department and I was really impressed
with his creativity, the kind of progressive agenda that he seemed to be advocating for
generally and international corrections.
I went back and started doing some research about the Virginia Department of Corrections,
saw all of the accolades and the awards that you were winning, kind of the progressive
mandate that under Director Clarke's stewardship.
The Virginia Department of Corrections has really been able to advance very progressive,
thoughtful agenda and I thought this is exactly the kind of partner that the State Department
is looking for.
Director Harold Clarke: I think Virginia was chosen for this partnership because we have
demonstrated to the nation and indeed to the world that we are leading in the area of corrections
in many respects.
We are on the cutting edge.
Our lower rate of recidivism is the first indicator of the fact that we are a very successful
agency.
Secretary Brian Moran: It's recognition of the great work the Department of Corrections
does.
We know it.
We see it each and every day, the wonderful work that's being done here, but to be recognized
internationally, for the United States State Department to come here to Virginia to say
that Virginia has the right training and practices, that we can take this not only nationally
but internationally to other countries who frankly are struggling.
They really are building their correction facilities and their correctional systems…that
Virginia can lead the way and serve as a model.
It's obviously an opportunity to express great pride in the work that DOC does so we
are very proud and it really is a momentous occasion.
Ambassador William Brownfield: What we do in the State Department INL is support law
enforcement programs around the world.
Why do we do it?
Not just to make the world a better place but quite frankly because if we are successful
in supporting law enforcement overseas, we have fewer law enforcement and criminal problems
here in the United States of America including the streets and communities of the Commonwealth
of Virginia.
Ambassador William Brownfield: Why important that it be the Virginia Department of Corrections?
Because they are cutting edge among U.S. state corrections services in terms of their programs,
in terms of their technology, in terms of the way that they are performing the mission.
So from our perspective, this is a win-win.
The Virginia DOC wins because they have both the ability to project to other countries
but build a network of contacts that allows them to work with their counterparts in other
countries on issues that might be having an impact in their own prisons.
And we win, as INL, because we have one of our nation's greatest and most effective
corrections departments as a partner offering both the training and the experience around
the world.
Dara Duncan, INL/CAP: We see these partnerships as a win-win.
We know that the issues that our international partners are facing overseas are very similar
to the issues that domestic partners, state level department of corrections face in the
United States and that peer-to-peer learning is really helpful both for the domestic partner
and for the international partner.
We are also looking for a partner that has a particular skillset.
They have language abilities or are doing something particularly well.
In the case of Virginia it would be reentry, rehabilitation, probation and parole.
We think that those are best practices that we'd like to expose our international partners
to.
Director Harold Clarke: But I think it also benefits the Department of Corrections as
well in that our staff will be exposed to a much broader audience of individuals across
the globe and we can learn from them as we are trying to teach them best practices that
we are engaging in Virginia.
Secretary Brian Moran: It's going to be very exciting.
Morocco is coming in in April to train and the opportunity for some of the employees
for DOC to go overseas…so there is going to be some really exciting opportunities and
that will help us attract and retain wonderful employees too when they're provided those
type of job opportunities so this is a real win-win for everyone.
It's good to be a part of it.
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Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony

79 Folder Collection
alex published on August 17, 2019
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