By Lt. Rosie Thomas, AA/PIO
California Institution for Women

The California Institution for Women (CIW) recently held the institution’s second Suicide Prevention Week event. The weekend started with the inmate Suicide Prevention Outreach Committee (SPOC) members informing the inmate community of the upcoming week’s events by distributing posters and passing out program pamphlets.

SPOC, led by Senior Psychologist Specialist M. DuMont, planned activities to bring awareness to the seriousness of suicide prevention. The inmates played games, spoke with community religious organizations, and received information on warning signs. The event also raised $2,296 to be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention thanks to staff participating in a dunk tank.

In addition to the week’s events, areas of CIW were also transformed by inmates in the Prison Industry Authority Construction program creating a SPOC sitting area. The concrete benches circled what the inmates call the tree of hope. Inmates also volunteered their time to create a garden area with painted rocks to symbolize hope.

The highlights of the week included the opening ceremony with guest speakers ranging from Senator Connie Levy, Chino City Councilman Gary George and Associate Director (AD) Amy Miller. On Sept. 11, CIW’s staff and inmate Honor Guards worked together to honor those who died during the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

On Sept. 12, AD Miller was the first to be dunked in the dunk tank, which was followed by many correctional staff of all ranks joining in on the fun.

By the end of the week, staff and inmates all agreed working together to create awareness in the CIW community was a success.