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SUFFOLK COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES OPEN NEW LEARNING CENTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: January 20, 2021


SUFFOLK COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES OPEN NEW LEARNING CENTER

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Officers Teaching Inmates


C/O Campfield teaches a student.

(Riverhead, NY) The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce the opening of a new Inmate Learning Center at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility.


The Learning Center opened on November 4, 2020. It operates in the Riverhead Correctional Facility to assist inmates as they prepare for the TASC examination to achieve their high school equivalency diploma. New York State selected the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) to replace the General Educational Development (GED®) as the primary pathway to a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma effective January 2, 2014. The Learning Center also provides a place for inmates to participate in educational activities to make them more employable and to enrich their personal lives.


Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. has made inmate rehabilitation a focus of his administration. “Some Suffolk County Correction Officers hold teaching degrees and NYS Teacher Certifications in various subject areas. Due to the NYS Bail Reform Legislation, we have fewer inmates in the correctional facilities, freeing up some staff to perform different duties. Opening a Learning Center operating in addition to our formal TASC program benefits all involved.”


Currently, inmates who are between the ages of 18 and 21 are eligible for TASC instruction provided by Eastern Suffolk BOCES in the facilities. The Learning Center serves as additional support for these inmates, as well as instruction for inmates of any age who would like to further their educations.


Correction Officer Christian Campfield, one of the teachers assigned to the Learning Center, is excited about the program. “Corrections is my second career after teaching. I am happy to be able to utilize my education and background to make a positive impact on the inmates. This also allows me to serve a more positive role in the facility, rather than just that of a correction officer. I hope this learning center helps the inmates better themselves so they don’t come back to jail.”


The Learning Center already has over 167 inmates enrolled in online continuing education courses in conjunction with Riverhead Library. The inmates have access to over 500 educational courses, including accounting, anger management, psychology, elder care, finances, typing, and more. Since opening the Learning Center on November 4th, 25 inmates have already completed courses in various subject areas and three inmates have earned their NYS High School Equivalency Diplomas.


There are currently three Correction Officer Teachers assigned to the Riverhead Correctional Facility Learning Center. On February 1, 2020, plans are in place to open a second Learning Center at the Yaphank Correctional Facility.


For more information on Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, visit www.SuffolkSheriff.com.


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