Mule Creek SP offers junior academy for employees’ children

More than 30 children of Mule Creek State Prison employees took part in a Junior Academy, held on the grounds of MCSP and the deactivated Preston Youth Correctional Facility.

More than 30 children of Mule Creek State Prison employees took part in a Junior Academy, held on the grounds of MCSP and the deactivated Preston Youth Correctional Facility. The academy is the creation of MCSP Warden Joe A. Lizarraga, at right.

From paint guns to exercise, junior cadets learn the ropes

By Lt. Angelo Gonzalez, AA/Public Information Officer
Mule Creek State Prison

Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) recently held its second Junior Academy on the grounds of the prison and the nearby deactivated Preston Youth Correctional Facility.

The Junior Academy was designed to replace Bring Your Child to Work Day and to give the children of MCSP employees a chance to learn more about the job their parents do every day and expose them to the field of correctional law enforcement.

Paint-ball guns were used to train Junior Cadets in gun safety.

Paint-ball guns were used to train Junior Cadets in gun safety.

In mid-July, 34 participants, ranging in ages from 9 to 15, were part of a week-long junior academy in which they received instruction on a wide range of topics such as Fire Suppression, Social Media Security, Firearms Familiarization, Weapons Qualification with paint ball equipment, Basic First Aid, Contraband and Drug Interdiction strategies and Crisis Response Team weapons and tactics.

Along with educational courses, the junior cadets also participated in physical training each morning which emphasized both fitness and teamwork.

On the first day of the academy, Fire Capt. R. Makemson arranged to have a helicopter fly onto prison grounds from REACH Medical Air Services. The junior cadets were able to climb on board the air ambulance while the pilot gave a description of the systems on-board.

This was one of the highlight of the week for many of the junior cadets, they said.

The academy concluded with a graduation ceremony, an inspirational speech by the warden, presentation of certificates and a barbecue for all involved.

The academy was the vision of MCSP Warden Joe A. Lizarraga and organized by In Service Training Lt. Nate Costa.

Lt. Costa tapped into the expertise of various staff volunteers and instructors. The curriculum created a fun, informative and memorable week for the children and staff involved.

“The best part of the academy was at the end of the week when the junior cadets approached me and expressed how much they learned and the great friendships they made. The smiles on their faces were priceless,” said Warden Lizarraga.

Many of the children could be heard during the event talking about how they hope to work for the Department someday.

“Our youth are our future, so as a Mule Creek State Prison family we must do everything possible to raise them well. It is my priority to continue to incorporate family into our vision and core values, and to give back to our staff and our community,” said Warden Lizarraga.

The helicopter was a hit with the children.

The helicopter was a hit with the children.


6 Responses

  1. J. Carrillo Wednesday, September 9, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Excellent program! I was going to say I would have loved to have gone through this type of program when I was a child, but to be honest, I’d love to go through it even now that I am 37. I am certain one day we will be reading about the successful CDCR careers of some of the children that participated in the Junior Academy.

  2. Jon Quick Sunday, September 6, 2015 / 2:11 am

    What a great experience for the kids. This should be done on a statewide level to introduce our children to our profession.

  3. FSP/FWF Officer Rooney, C. Saturday, September 5, 2015 / 3:51 am

    Bravo with a standing ovation for MCSP Warden Joe A. Lizarraga. This would be awesome for our kids to not only see what their parents do at work but help them build quality friendships. I would most cerainly enroll all my kids in this type of Junior Academy, if my prison offered it. Hopefully in the near future maybe (hint, hint). Way to go MCSP!

  4. Saturday, September 5, 2015 / 1:50 am

    That’s wonderful! Next year will the participation be extended to the surrounding prisons’ employees children also?

  5. Lt. M. D. Williams, CCWF Friday, September 4, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    Lt. A Gonzalez, I fully enjoyed reading this article. Thank you so much. Warden J. Lizarraga, what great vision you have, to incorporate this priceless model into our children’s budding interests and hungry minds. Thank you IST Lt. N. Costa for your organization and help in this great endeavor. This is a great idea. Keep up the great work all involved at Mule Creek State Prison.

    Lt. M. D. Williams

  6. Valerie Estrella Friday, September 4, 2015 / 8:39 am

    What a great way to give back to the community! Thanks for doing that for the employees’ children.

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