Community Involvement

Over 100 kids visit Chuckawalla prison’s Junior Academy

Smiling young boy sits in helicopter seat.
Officer Ruiz's son sits in the helicopter during CVSP's Junior Academy.

By Lieutenant JJ Hernandez

Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (or CVSP) recently hosted its second Junior Academy, drawing more than 100 children.

Just like in the past, this event was a huge success. The children saw demonstrations of what their parents do on a daily basis inside one of the state prisons. 

CVSP Warden Charles Callahan and CVSP staff made the event happen, earning them the thanks of all those attending.

The events for the day included a presentation by Investigative Services Unit, also known as ISU, K-9 teams.

Man with police dog on a leash. The dog has something in its mouth.
K-9 Officer Martinez and his partner Roxie demonstrate for the children.

The Junior Cadets saw demonstrations by Ironwood State Prison K-9 Officer J. Martin and his partner Camo, CVSP K-9 Officer A. Diaz and his partner Ava, and K-9 Officer F. Martinez and his partner Roxie.  For precautions and safety, CVSP had medical staff available at all times during the event.

The CVSP/ISP Crisis Response Team ( or CRT) along with CVSP In-Service Training (or IST) Department gave the children a presentation which included basic alarm response and baton training, complete with someone in a padded suit.

CRT also gave a demonstration of a simulated car chase. During the chase, CRT team members extracted the “suspect” from a vehicle by utilizing flash grenades. The Junior Cadets were given a hands-on presentation with the Multiple Interactive Learning Objective, which was a hit with the children.

The Chuckawalla/Ironwood State Prison Fire Department with assistance from Care Flight 8 flight team, also conducted a presentation for the Junior Cadets. The Fire Department secured a landing zone in the visitors’ parking lot and Care Flight 8 landed a helicopter.

The children were then given access to the inside of the  helicopter and allowed to sit in the pilot and co-pilot seats. They were also given souvenirs by the flight crew. The children were even allowed access to two new fire engines.

All the Junior Cadets were given a picture ID card with personalized information as well a Junior Academy T-shirt. The ID cards were issued to them as a souvenir and were given with various other items that were put into backpacks that were presented to the children.

Special thanks go to the local California Correctional Supervisor Organization and the California Correctional Peace Officer chapters. Also, thanks go to the CVSP Employees Association for their donations, because of their generosity the children were provided a morning snack, lunch, and a treat prior to leaving for the day. Each Junior Cadet was issued a certificate of completion at the end of the day.

Warden Callahan said he was very grateful to all the staff members who made this possible including IST, ISU, the Warden Suite, CRT and CVSP Employees.

Large group of children in front of a building with the words Chuckawalla Valley State Prison.
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison’s Junior Academy, class of 2019. More than 100 children participated.