By Lupe Cartagena, SATF PIO

On Thursday, November 15, more than 250 family members and loved ones of staff at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran, (SATF) experienced an up-close look inside the prison walls during the institution’s first annual celebration of “Bring Your Loved One To Work Day.”

The event began with welcome by the keynote speaker, Warden (A) Ralph M. Diaz, who explained the purpose of the event was to give family and children an inside look into their parent’s or loved one’s work and the reality of life in corrections.

Activities included demonstrations by CDCR’s K-9 unit, which specialize in finding hidden contraband such as tobacco, cell phones, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, SATF’s Crisis Response Team (CRT) and the SATF fire department. The event included a bounce house for children, face-painting, a turkey toss, a free hot dog dinner, a cake walk, and a raffle.

A tour that included a rare look behind the work-change area and inside one of the vocational wood shops highlighted the event. The tour included a visit to the gym where a Code II emergency response simulation was staged. The demonstration included a simulated use of pepper spray and other methods to quell disturbances.

“These guys have all day to think about breaking things down and making weapons,” one officer explained to the crowd as they examined the deadly weapons made from a metal piece carved out from a shelve inside a cell.

“Seeing it first-hand gives them a better idea, a better picture of what we actually do every day,” said community Partnership Manager Florence Cote, who has spent more than 23 years working for the California corrections system. “The event was a success, and we are looking forward to next year, which will be even bigger!”