The California Institution for Women (CIW), Veterans In Prison (VIP) Post No. 1 may be the first of its kind in the U.S. prison system.
The post launched in August 2014. The group’s mission is to help female veterans who are in prison, as well as helping veterans in the local community.
Their main objective is to help service men and women Veterans who have given so much of themselves to serve our country.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not deter group members from their mission. They used their time during various quarantines to knit various items for veterans.
On April 22, 2021, the CIW VIP Post No. 1 donated over 450 hand-made items to participate in the Veterans Stand Down event hosted in Moreno Valley, CA.
The Veterans Stand Down featured a drive-through event that allowed at risk Veterans to receive goods and services such as:
- Hygiene kits
- Employment and legal services
- Covid-19 vaccinations
- Housing assistance, and other services.
CIW’s Community Resource Manager, Warden, Chief Deputy Warden, and Custody Captain spent the day passing out blankets, beanies, and scarves to veterans as they drove through the event. The post VIP has donated approximately 5,000 hand-made items to the veteran community since forming the group in 2014.
Submitted by Lt. Andrew Mendoza, PIO/AA, CIW