News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – “I extend my congratulations to the eight recruits who have completed their training and officially become part of the Department of Corrections (DOC) family,” said Minister of National Security Michael Weeks, following Friday’s Passing Out Ceremony for Bermuda’s newest Corrections Officers.

“The recruits’ commitment to the 13-week basic training programme reflects their dedication to supporting the safety and well-being of our community,” the Minister added.

The successful officers are: Pearson Ashby, Siena Bell, Richard Brown, Tatem Ford, Ronee Jennings, Deanne Lightbourn, Kalen Mills and Avery Williams.

Minister Weeks, who delivered congratulatory remarks at the ceremony at Warwick Camp, emphasised the role that Corrections Officers play in upholding the standards of the Department.

He went on to acknowledge the significant responsibilities shouldered by Corrections Officers and expressed confidence in the capabilities of the latest graduates.

The graduates underwent comprehensive training conducted by a team led by Assistant Commissioner Shannon Hollis, Chief Officer Sandra Gomes, Principal Officer DeOnie Furbert, and Divisional Officer Shannon DeRoza.

This training team ensured that the recruits received thorough instruction covering various aspects of corrections work.

The training included an overview of the DOC, knowledge of all relevant legal statutes, inmate management, and defensive tactics such as the use of force.

Basic Officer Kalen Mills, a recruit, was given the 2023/2024 Baton of Honour Award for his outstanding achievement shown in the course.

Basic Officer Mills thrived academically, achieving the overall top score of the group on the final exam. Trainers commended him for exhibiting pride as he embarked on his journey to become a Corrections Officer. He demonstrated courage and a willingness to take himself out of his comfort zone and take action to enhance his training experience. 

Reflecting on the occasion, Commissioner of Corrections Keeva Joell-Benjamin highlighted the crucial role of the DOC in maintaining societal order and assisting with the rehabilitation of offenders.

Commissioner Joell-Benjamin told those in attendance: “Today, I implore you to never forget your purpose and why you chose to be a Corrections Officer.

“Every day focus on your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. It has been said and I quote ‘We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.’

“If we don’t know our purpose, we will not know how we impact the world around us.

 “You have been blessed with talents, knowledge and skills and therefore it is expected that we use them to benefit others. Luke 12:48 says to whom much is given, much will be required.”