Community Involvement

Over 100 kids attend Ironwood prison’s Jr. Academy

Kids and prison staff wear red t-shirts.
Over 100 kids attended the fourth annual Ironwood State Prison Junior Academy on July 19.

Employee’s children learn about parents’ correctional jobs

Ironwood State Prison (ISP) hosted its fourth annual ISP Junior Academy on July 19. The popular event drew more than 100 children.

Woman in red instructor shirt has child demonstrate CPR on a doll.
The prison’s Junior Academy “cadets” learned about CPR, crisis response and some of the challenges their parents face working in an institution.

In the past, it has been difficult for most staff to participate in the annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work” day because they work within the secure perimeter.

In 2016, Warden Neil McDowell wanted to add activities for the children that would demonstrate what the custody staff might have to do on a daily basis in order to preserve the safety and security of the institution.

The children received very basic Chemical Agents and Monadnock Expandable Baton (MEB) instruction by certified instructors. In the Chemical Agents class, the children learned how to spray inert MK-9 while responding to a simulated fight. MEB Instructors utilized “training batons” to demonstrate and train different techniques to the children.

The prison Employees’ Association assisted with purchasing breakfast, while the California Correctional Supervisors Organization purchased an Junior Academy t-shirt for each “junior cadet” and instructor.

The prison’s California Correctional Peace Officers Association assisted with purchasing lunch and beverages for all of the participants.

Prison staff in tactical gear stand in front of cells while kids stand on the walkway above.
The ISP Junior Academy “cadets” learned about the prison’s Crisis Response Team.