KVSP staff joins forces with local law enforcement

By Lt. Michael Betzinger, AA/PIO
Kern Valley State Prison

Recently, Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) partnered with local law enforcement to support the McFarland Police Department’s annual Cops and Candy Fall Festival and the Delano Police Department’s Trunk or Treat.

These community events are focused on providing a safe environment for local citizens to celebrate Halloween.

Games, candy, music, contests and food were all provided free of charge to the participants. Thousands of citizens attend these events, not only giving them a safe place to celebrate the fall holiday, but giving them the opportunity to visit with those who make their cities safer.

KVSP had 16 volunteers at the Cops and Candy Fall Festival. The California Correctional Supervisors Organization (CCSO) was gracious to provide all of the candy handed out by KVSP staff.

Meanwhile, nearly a dozen KVSP volunteers attended Trunk or Treat, passing out candy donated by institutional staff.

Many of the young participants managed to “sneak” back into the KVSP candy line multiple times to the delight of those staff passing out the treats. Based on the positive reactions from all involved, KVSP anticipates partnering with these local agencies for years to come.

Calipatria State Prison staff enjoy harvest festival

By Lt. Efren Uribe, AA/PIO
Calipatria State Prison

On Oct. 24, Calipatria State Prison (CAL) hosted the year’s annual Harvest Festival. The event provides the employees an opportunity to come together with their families and coworkers as a community. It provides an opportunity to make new friends and share common interests while having a great time and experiencing activities similar to a traditional carnival.

Children dressed in Halloween costumes, enjoyed candy, music, and prizes, as they visited booths such as face painting, cookie decoration, corn hole tossing, an obstacle course, a fish bowl toss, and other games that were available at the festival. The horses for the pony rides, the animals for the petting zoo, and the puppies that were made available for adoption, were provided by CAL staff.

Employees and their families enjoyed some DJ music, played by one of CAL’s own employees, as well as a traditional Mexican Folklore Dance, also presented by some of CAL’s staff, which entertained children and adults alike.

Warden Warren L. Montgomery and Chief Deputy Warden Marcus Pollard volunteered to get dropped in a dunk booth.

“The Harvest Festival is an opportunity for employees to interact with each other and their families in a normal healthy environment,” said Warden Montgomery.

Many children formed long lines to take a shot at dunking the the prison’s leadership, who said they enjoyed themselves Proceeds from the dunk booth will be used to provide winter clothing to those less fortunate in the local community.

Community Resource Manager Frances Hernandez said, “The only thought that crosses my mind is how to make next year’s event even better.”

The event continues to grow every year as the number of staff who elects to participate in the event, continues to grow.

CHCF staff give visiting kids special Halloween

By Lt. Barry Tisdale, AA/PIO
California Health Care Facility

The weekend before Halloween, California Health Care Facility visiting staff hosted a coloring, costume and paper-pumpkin decorating contest for all visiting kids. A total of 19 kids participated with six winning prizes. Two winners from each category received a gift card of their choice. The gift cards were donated by the Inmate Family Council.

At the end, visiting staff and some of the kids put up a thumbs-up sign to promote positive encouragement, approval and acceptance.