Awards and Appreciation

Pleasant Valley State Prison thanks staff with special event

Two nurses at Pleasant Valley prison.
License Vocation Nurses R. Peeples and B. Dugan.

Correctional officers, nurses and teachers were celebrated May 4 at Pleasant Valley State Prison. (PVSP)

The prison Employee Action Committee hosted the event in honor of National Correctional Officers, Nurses and Teachers Week. The outdoor event featured vendors such as No Zone Shaved Ice Sweets & Eats, The Cupcake Route, and tacos catered by Sergio’s Mexican Restaurant. Even Tough Teddy, the mascot for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, was on hand to brighten moods. (Read more staff appreciation stories.)

A look at working in corrections

Officer C. Irvin enjoys working in corrections and being part of the Pleasant Valley team.

“I have been a Correctional Officer for about five years. Being a Correctional Officer is a great career. Even though it can be stressful at times, you have to make the best of it,” Officer Irvin said. “The best part of being a Correctional Officer is the team environment and friendships you build.”

Officer J. Arredondo has maintained public safety since January 1988, learning to change with the times.

“Everybody has an opportunity to be what you want in this career, from Officer to the CDCR Secretary. During my career, I have seen a lot of changes, and changes will continue to happen. Staff have to adapt to the changes and not take it personal in order to enjoy and retire in this career,” he said. “These days we are more than guards. Sometimes we have to play the role of medical and mental health. The media has given the public the wrong impression about us.”

Helping the department achieve goals through change is important, he said.

“To the young Officers like Officer Irvin, I advise them to learn to adapt, further your education, think like a lieutenant or captain and ask yourself what they would do in situations. I think the changes the department has made are for the better for staff, inmates and the community. We are professionals and I am proud of my service,” said Officer Arredondo.

Pleasant Valley nurses

What is it like to be a nurse? 

“It feels good, I enjoy helping others, but it can also be stressful. COVID-19 was a difficult time for all of us but we are managing through it. The best part of being a nurse is when you help people stay healthy,” said LVN R. Peeples. 

Story by Lt. Alex Avila.