A "jail" was constructed for those who were "Doin' Time on Your Dime," a fundraiser by employees of Pleasant Valley State Prison.

A “jail” was constructed for those who were “Doin’ Time on Your Dime,” a fundraiser by employees of Pleasant Valley State Prison.

By Lt. Reagen Athey, AA/Public Information Officer
Pleasant Valley State Prison

Employees at Pleasant Valley State Prison recently put their heads together to create an innovative way to raise money for charity – by “locking up” kind-hearted coworkers.

PVSP Medical CEO Donald McElroy was locked up for charity.

PVSP Medical CEO Donald McElroy was locked up for charity.

During the California State Employees Charitable Campaign (CSECC) committee meetings, members brainstormed ways to raise money for the Staff Appreciation Day and Barbecue. One suggested a quirky way to raise enough money and donate to a non-profit organization. The event was dubbed “Doin’ Time on Your Dime” and the group selected Valley Children’s Hospital as beneficiary.

People could confidentially purchase a warrant for $25 to have someone “arrested.” Once arrested, the staff member needed to raise $50 to post “bail.” A “wanted” poster was created, along with a pledge form, and posted in the Administration Building for everyone to see. People could list their donations if they so chose.

A jail cell was fabricated, the IST Lieutenant acted as the Judge, and other staff were the Bailiff and Deputies.  The arrests and bail were conducted over a three-day span, with close to 50 staff members getting arrested.

During court, many staff were found to be in contempt, which cost them an extra $5-$20, depending on the severity, which was donated directly to Valley Children’s Hospital.

On each of the three days, CSECC held a food fundraiser, offering different options on each day ranging from popcorn and snow cones to hot dogs and a bake sale.

Money is still being collected. However, with the food sales, fundraiser, contempt fees and extra donations, organizers expect the fundraiser to fetch close to $5,000.

The event was such a success, it will become an Annual event, with a different non-profit each year.

IST Lt. Rand Hoyt served as the judge while Sgt. Brandon Cleveland served as Bailiff.

IST Lt. Rand Hoyt served as the judge while Sgt. Brandon Cleveland served as Bailiff.