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CORRECTIONS OFFICERS RETURN FROM NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED "TOOLS FOR TOLERANCE" WORKSHOP The program focuses on enhancing an organization's ongoing commitment to professional development and implementation of new diversity strategies

(Woodbury) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco, Liaison to Department of Correctional Services announced today that three members of the county Department of Correctional Services attended Tools for Tolerance, National Institutes Against Hate Crimes and Terrorism at the Museum of Tolerance, a program focused on enhancing an organization's ongoing commitment to professional development and implementation of new diversity strategies.

Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeny said, "Tolerance is the ability to have a fair and objective attitude to those whose opinions and practices may differ from your own."

"It is an imperative trait that a person working in the law enforcement field must possess because each day they are faced with challenges that need to be handled professionally and ethically," said Sweeney. "Our Gloucester County team returned from this nationally acclaimed program prepared to share and implement strategic approaches to combat hate crimes and prejudices," the Freeholder Director said. "Lieutenant Deborah Cama, Corrections Officer LaRae Carter and Juvenile Detention Officer Ezette McCann attended the conference. They will share the education and skills they learned with the employees of the jail and train them to enhance their critical thinking skills in the areas of diversity, human dignity, ethics and values," said Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco, Liaison to Department of Correctional Services. "The training will strengthen the tolerance they have for the inmates that they supervise and interact with on a daily basis," said DiMarco.

The conference was held at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The museum is a branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an internationally renowned human rights organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust. The museum promotes tolerance through community involvement, educational outreach and social action.

The Museum of Tolerance is supported by a federal grant through the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, which funded the Corrections Officers to attend the program.

The Tools for Tolerance program uses a variety of adult learning modalities including interactive technology, video presentations, special speakers and small group discussions. The program is inclusive and presents an educational experience that engages participants on many levels.

Some issues the program focuses on are discrimination, prejudice, racism, diversity and stereotyping. The goals of the program are to strengthen ethical and bias-free decision making, enhance competency in inter-cultural communication and conflict resolution, develop progressive leadership practices and build capacity for inclusive and equitable organizations.