For Immediate Release
Posted: February 26, 2024

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Public Information Office
(603) 271-5602 | pio@doc.nh.gov

NHDOC Announces the 123rd Corrections Academy Graduation

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Corrections announces the 123rd Corrections Academy class graduated from the pre-service training on February 23, 2024. The ceremony took place at the Arthur D. Kehas Law Enforcement Training Center at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council facility, with the commencement address delivered by Kevin Kempf, Executive Director of the Correctional Leaders Association.

Several graduates received awards honoring their achievements in the academy. Officer Zachary Bennett received the prestigious Arthur D. Kehas Outstanding Officer Award. The Officer’s Academic Achievement Award was given to Officer Aaron Beineke. The Correctional Line Staff Academic Achievement award was given to Registered Nurse Patrick LeClair. The Highest Level of Physical Fitness Award and the Jeremy T. Charron Award presented by American Legion Post 122 were given to Officer Joseph Siejkowski. Officer Carlos Morel Morillo received the Class Appreciation Award, and Officer Heaven Thibeau received the New Hampshire Technical College Institute Scholarship Award.

In his commencement address, Executive Director Kempf stated “You have chosen a career that will be filled with laughter, tears, passion, and hope. You will see amazing transformation in people who have struggled their entire lives, and sadly, you will see the worst in people.” He later continued, “Dedicating yourself to this career will be paramount for your success.”

The eight-week academy provides new officers and correctional line staff with the tools and resources needed to work in a correctional environment. In addition to the new corrections officers, three correctional line staff completed the academy and will return to the facilities as registered nurses, and a reentry coordinator. All graduates received a variety of training including ethics, stress management, communications, contraband introduction, mental health, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), scenarios, and constitutional law. The recruit officers received approximately 40 hours of physical fitness training, training in defensive tactics, certification in baton and pepper spray, and corrections specific laws. Following graduation, the recruit officers will attend 2 weeks of post-academy firearms training prior to returning to their facilities.

“I am pleased to welcome this group of dedicated professionals as they embark on their journeys as Corrections Officers,” said Commissioner Helen Hanks. “I am confident that each graduate will fulfill their responsibilities with integrity, and I am grateful for their dedication to safeguarding the community and contributing to the rehabilitation of the individuals we supervise.”

During the ceremony, the Department paid special tribute to former Assistant Commissioner and Acting Commissioner Nicholas Pishon, who passed away on February 5, 2024. The first row at the Corrections Academy was left empty to honor Commissioner Pishon, who frequently attended the Corrections Academy graduation post his service with the Department. Commissioner Pishon served the New Hampshire Department of Corrections honorably for over 17 years, and prior to his service to the State, retired from the United States Army having earned the rank of Colonel.

The Department of Corrections is recruiting for corrections officers and other correctional line staff. Additional information is available online at https://www.jobs.corrections.nh.gov. Questions can be directed to our Recruitment Office at (603) 271-5645 or by emailing doc-recruitment@doc.nh.gov.

123 Corrections Academy Class Photo