Inmate firefighter Andy White crafted a military playhouse in the shape of a tank. It was donated to raise funds for a charitable organization.

By Lt. Charlene Billings, AA/PIO
California Correctional Center

Inmate firefighters train hard and work harder, so when they find some down time, they often spend it resting or exercising. One firefighter at Intermountain Conservation Camp 22 had a different approach for spending his spare time – he took it upon himself to use his construction skills to benefit those less fortunate.

Inmate Andy White, assigned to Intermountain, has spent his down time at the camp working on hobby projects made of wood. His passion for military tanks led to this year’s largest contribution to Lassen Family Services “Victims Against Crime” hobby craft sale. Inmate White handcrafted a military tank playhouse for kids. The process took over three months, from simply building walls to the detailing of the hatch and cannon. The tank is handcrafted in great detail giving it a realistic appearance. Even though stationary, the tank’s size and design allows for at least three children to sit, pretend to steer and even extend beyond the open hatch.

This is not the first time inmate White has donated his time to build creative toys for charities for children. Earlier in the year, CCC took part in assisting the Early Head Start Program, which is a non-profit organization for young children to get an early start to their education and young lives. Inmate White and other inmate volunteers from Intermountain Camp constructed a wooden, handcrafted fire station and two wooden fire truck toys for them.

The tank playhouse was presented in the Lassen County Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2017, in Susanville. On Dec. 21 at CCC, Warden Suzanne Peery had the honor of pulling out the tank-winning ticket belonging to Sgt. Melissa Davis, with High Desert State Prison.

Intermountain Camp, located in Bieber, has a wood/hobby shop where inmates are able to create doll houses, hope chests, toy boxes and toys for children’s charities. Every year Camp Commander Lt. Jeremy Micone and his staff are proud to be involved in the various donations produced in the camp. The inmates donate hundreds of hours and hobby craft items to multiple charities from Make-A-Wish Foundation to Toys for Tots and Victims Against Crime.

In addition, inmate crews have helped the local community by diligently working for the Pit Resource Conservation District in restoring wildlife habitat in Ash Valley and at Juniper Lake by reducing juniper growth.

California Correctional Center (CCC) is mostly known for its primary mission to receive, house and train minimum custody inmates for placement into one of the institution’s 18 Northern California Conservation Camps. CCC’s secondary mission is to provide meaningful work, training and education programs for inmates who do not meet the criteria for assignment to a Conservation Camp.

These alternative assignments include academic and vocational trade programs, facility maintenance jobs, food service positions and other facility support assignments.

Learn more about Intermountain Conservation Camp, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Conservation_Camps/Camps/Intermountain/index.html

The tank also has a working hatch.