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From left are Kenneth Pogue, Undersecretary Administration & Offender Services CDCR; Nick Lizarraga; MCSP Warden Joe A. Lizarraga and Brad Rice.

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

Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) hosted its 12th Annual Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday, May 25, at the Castle Oaks Golf Club in Ione. This year’s Golf Tournament will benefit two staff members, Correctional Officer Christopher Gonzalez and Registered Nurse Jyoti Saini.

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Registered Nurse Jyoti Saini took a minute to thank everyone during the tournament.

The annual golf tournament was started in 2007 to honor the memory of Correctional Officer and 1st Sergeant U.S. Marine Michael Barnhill, who was killed in 2005, fighting for our freedom, while on active duty in Iraq.

Officer Barnhill was killed when his vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. Since the first golf tournament in 2007, MCSP nominates an employee in need of assistance because of a traumatic event or illness, and donates the proceeds to the nominee and his family. Each year, the Golf Tournament Volunteer Committee works enthusiastically to organize bake sales, barbecues and to solicit donations from local businesses and the community. The success of this year’s tournament is also attributed to the over 150 golf participants, and contributions from individual staff, CCPOA, Mule Creek Fallen Families Resource Foundation, and local and out-of-the-area business sponsors.

Officer Gonzalez is currently off work due to a serious family medical condition which has placed a financial and emotional burden on his family. Officer Gonzalez began his career with the CDCR at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center in May 2015 and was assigned to the California Correctional Center (CCC) upon completion of his training. Officer Gonzalez transferred from CCC to MCSP in October 2017.

Jyoti Saini is currently off work caring for her husband who was involved in a car accident in 2017 and he continues to require constant care. Her husband’s condition is expected to keep her off work for an extended period of time as she continues to care for him and their child. She began her career with CDCR at the MCSP in January 2017.

The Mule Creek State Prison 12th Annual Memorial Golf Tournament raised over $18,000 for Officer Gonzalez and Registered Nurse Jyoti Saini.

Warden Joe Lizarraga said, “Our tournament has shown that it strengthens our work family, enhances employee morale, and most importantly gives us the ability to help our employees and their families.”

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From left are Warden, Joe A. Lizarraga with this year’s tournament winners, Correctional Sgt. Anthony Marquez, RC Cloa, Rick Olivares and Joe Martin.