By Lt. Angelo Gonzalez, AA/PIO
Mule Creek State Prison

This year commemorates 30 years of continuous public service for Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP), activated in 1987.

On Dec. 18, 1985, the department broke ground on three new facilities on the same day in Ione, Stockton and Avenal, according to Correction News, February 1986. Roger Schaufel, the Ione prison manager, was on-hand with other dignitaries to shovel dirt in a groundbreaking ceremony along with Undersecretary Rod Blonien, Youth and Adult Correctional Agency; Chief Deputy Director Jim Gomez; and Don Novey, California Correctional Peace Officers Association president. The facility was listed as a “1,700-bed, $144 million medium security prison.”

At the time it opened, MCSP was the second most modern 270 design facility in the State of California. “Mule Creek State Prison is moving toward completion on schedule,” reported Correction News, August 1987. “On June 10, the first 40 inmates were received at Facility C. … Staff now totals 350. Interviews are in progress and additional staff are being hired as activation continues. Facility A is scheduled to come online in mid-August. … Construction on Facility B is continuing. Activation is scheduled for October (1987).”

Three decades later, it has expanded to a large complex, incorporating modern and 30-year-old technology.

To celebrate MCSP’s 30-year anniversary, a celebration was held Sept. 8. The celebration included guest speakers, a car show and a free barbecue for everyone attending the event.

The car show was for all staff and their families to show off their pride and joy. The car show included 45 cars, trucks and motorcycles on display owned by staff and relatives.

A few of the previous Wardens from MCSP were in attendance including Mike Martel, who is the current Warden at California Health Care Facility, and retired MCSP Warden I.C. Haunani Henry. Pictures of the event, current newspapers and a guest book will be encased in a time capsule to be opened at the 50-year anniversary.

A 30-year anniversary commemorative challenge coin was designed specifically for this event. The limited edition coin was offered during the event and quickly sold out.