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

Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) recently held its third annual Junior Academy on prison grounds and the 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 and expose them to the field of corrections law enforcement.

On July 25, 40 kids ranging in age from 9 to 15 started a week-long junior academy where they received instruction on a wide range of topics which included: 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 Captain 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. Two of last year’s graduates came back as Junior Academy assistants. Courtney and Camryn Minnick volunteered their time to give back to the program they enjoyed as cadets. The academy concluded on July 29 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 Warden Joe A. Lizarraga and organized by In Service Training Lt. Shawntel Alvis. The curriculum created a fun, informative and memorable week for the children and staff involved.

“Without children there is no future. We need to expand our children’s horizons, prepare them for life’s challenges and this academy does just that,” said Warden Lizarraga.