By Lt. Maria Mireles, AA/PIO

Chuckawall Valley State Prison

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison’s warden told Twin Palms High School students that the choices they make now can change their lives forever.

“Every day I see how negative life choices changed the futures of thousands of people” Warden A. M. Gonzales told students in math teacher Judy Browder’s class, “but you all can positively determine your future by finishing your education.”

Warden Gonzales and several staff from the prison’s Investigative Services unit recently visited the school to deliver their real life message.

Sgt. Curtis Carney gave the students a personal example. He said he dropped out of school and attended continuation school for a few months but found that it interfered with his work schedule.

“I quickly found out that working in low-paying jobs was not what I wanted.”  He returned to school obtained his GED, which allowed him to get a job with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Since then, he said, he has continued his education by taking various college courses.

Correctional Officer Stacy Myrick of the institution’s K-9 unit and his partner, Roxy, were a big hit with the students, especially Roxy, who showed the students that a highly trained detective dog can still be a friendly dog.

Officer Myrick explained that each year CDCR’s K-9 units detect thousands of contraband items – ranging from cell phones to drugs.

Warden Gonzales the visit was intended to stress to the students the importance of an education, making the right choices and taking control of their lives.