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By Alexandra Powell, CDCR Public Information Officer
Office of Public and Employee Communications

“You make a difference” was the theme at California State Prison-Solano’s recent Staff Appreciation Day.

Barbecues were grilling, music was playing and smiles were aplenty.  Three different grilling stations were set up around the institution to ensure no staff members were left out – even those working first watch at 9 p.m.

1300 paper bags were assembled for staff.

Paper bags were assembled for staff.

“I believe it is extremely valuable to take the time to recognize all of the hardworking staff that make a place like this run smoothly, even in times of duress.  It is important to let people know you appreciate them and the work they do,” said Warden Eric Arnold.

The institution received donations from California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), California Correctional Supervisors Organization (CCSO), and AFSME in support of the effort.

“When it comes to working conditions in institutions, we’ve found it’s better to work with management to achieve some of the same goals,” said interim CCPOA Vice President James Kiehlmeier, who manned one of the barbecues.

The event touted live music from two bands: The Kick-Back Crew and inmate band Transfusion. It also featured a prize drawing sponsored by nearly 40 local businesses, with 92 prizes in total.

Each employee received a brown paper bag containing a ticket for the drawing, a hot dog and a dessert.  Dr. Kenya Williams, Correctional Education Supervisor, led the assembly of the 1,300 paper bags and made sure to include a special message on the front on each one: “You make a difference.”

Health Care Captain Joseph Guillory said, “I think it was a success. Staff morale seems to be up. We need to do this more often.”