When the three NMCD officials visited Izalco, El Salvador, in 2008, seeing the poorly developed prison system first-hand proved to be a shocking, eye-opening experience for each of them.
The prison staff were reportedly implementing basic security procedures they learned from NMCD in 2007, including procedures that established better inmate record-keeping and tracking systems.
The conference also allowed NMCD to share institutional knowledge regarding effective management of security threat groups inside the prison.
So far, NMCD has graduated seven international academy classes from Mexico and Central America.
They leave here with a structured form of training that they didn't have before," said Patrick Apodaca, deputy director of the NMCD training academy.
The new facility is Mexico's first training academy, and NMCD provided hands-on assistance with the opening.