Awards and Appreciation

CIW partners with non‑profit to show appreciation, support for staff, incarcerated population

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

Recently, the California Institution for Women (CIW) collaborated with the non-profit Prison University Project to show appreciation and support for staff and the incarcerated population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prison University Project, based in San Francisco, supports the college program at San Quentin State Prison.

Through donations from the Prison University Project, CIW  received care packages for the incarcerated persons population and the CIW staff were served either breakfast or lunch. 

In September, CIW staff who worked First and Second Watch were offered a meal from three food trucks – Mexitup, La Fiesta and Aloha Acai Bowl. CIW staff who worked the Third Watch shift, also received a meal from one of the trucks.

All the food truck lines were filled with the smiling faces of staff as they laughed and conversed with each other. As staff received their meals, CIW’s executive staff were also on hand for the event to tell staff how much their hard work and dedication during this time was appreciated.

All CIW staff who participated were appreciative of the generosity of the Prison University Project and appreciated the CIW’s executive staff showing their support.

Theresa Roeder of the Prison University Project said “We appreciate your giving us the opportunity to do something positive in these crazy times. Goodness knows there is enough negativity around to last us all half a lifetime right now!”

One CIW staff member said, “Thank you for thinking of us all during the pandemic.  Seriously made a positive impact of staff’s morale.  Please extend our gratitude to the warden.”

Also, care packages for the incarcerated population were distributed. CIW staff and volunteer incarcerated persons worked together distributing care packages to all general population units, Health Care Units and Special Programs Units.

As care packages were distributed, you could hear exclamations of joy, excitement and gratitude in the halls once the contents of the packages were known. All incarcerated persons received soap, toothpaste, writing material, writing pencils, envelopes, beef jerky, protein bars, tuna and informational material for the Prison University Project.

One incarcerated person, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I can’t believe how generous they were to all of us. God bless them all for thinking of us.”

Another said, “This has made my day, what a wonderful gift to have received, thank you Prison University Project.”

On behalf of the CIW community, we would again, like to say thank you 
Prison University Project for your generosity and support during the pandemic.