Looking for ways to help, Mule Creek State Prison staff asked the City of Ione what could be done to encourage youth to form healthy relationships with law enforcement. City officials responded, asking the prison to work with the Ione Police Department’s non-profit group, Cops & Kids.
This group was set up to assist kids in Ione and the surrounding area. Cops & Kids has contributed thousands of dollars to local schools, ranging from elementary through high school.
Additionally, Cops & Kids has supported Little League, youth football, soccer, and Special Olympics. Their latest outreach from a 2019 golf tournament was to provide half of net proceeds to the Dennis Dalton Foundation, assisting under-privileged children throughout Amador County.
Overwhelming food sale support means bigger donation
With a proven track record, Mule Creek staff knew Cops & Kids would be a fitting recipient of a fundraiser. Thus, the idea was proposed to the incarcerated population, who overwhelmingly supported the plan.
Subway was chosen as the food vendor while Cops & Kids was named the beneficiary. The Mule Creek population spent over $50,000, generating revenue for the local Subway while also raising $12,000 for youth.
Ione Chief of Police Jeff Arnold was taken aback and had no idea the food sale was going to generate such a large amount of money.
“The hard work and effort from the staff at Mule Creek, as well as the generosity from the prison’s offenders, made it possible for Cops & Kids to send personnel to the elementary school as mentors and be a positive presence,” Chief Arnold said. “This money allows (us to hire) a motivational speaker for the high school.”
Positive contact with police has shown benefits to the community, diverting youth from the justice system as well as possible incarceration.
The food sale fundraiser is one more example of the department’s commitment to being community involved.
“Mule Creek prides itself with giving back to its community neighbors. We thank the population housed at Mule Creek for supporting this value,” said Warden Covello.
By Lance Eshelman, Community Resources Manager
Mule Creek State Prison