Community Involvement

CDCR staff get into Halloween spirit

Dog greets a man in a wheelchair.
Tootsie Paws brought a smile to Mr. Bridgeman, a patient at CHCF.

From puppies wearing costumes to a family night for staff, CDCR, DJJ, and CCHCS got into the spirit of Halloween across the state.

Halloween pups brighten day for CHCF staff, patients

To the joy of all staff and incarcerated population, the California Health Care Facility held the annual Halloween Puppy Parade.

The best puppy costume was awarded to, Patsy, a 10-month old yellow lab, dressed as a UPS package handler.

Patsy and her puppy pals, Wonder Pup, Princess Paws, Puppy Capone and others, delivered hope and joy to the incarcerated population and staff.  

One staff member said, “This is the best Monday ever.”

An incarcerated person thanked staff for giving him the chance to pet a dog again.

“This is the best day I’ve ever had in prison,” he said. “I haven’t petted a dog in over 30 years.”

Submitted by Lt. Wilona Lewis

CTF, SVSP host Trunk-or-Treat

The Correctional Training Facility, Salinas Valley State Prison and the Employee Action Committees (EAC) hosted the second annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat on Oct. 21. 

Those who organized the event said, “It was an amazing event that provided a safe and fun alternative to trick-or-treating. The Halloween Trunk-or-Treat brought laughter, baked treats, a chili cook off, jump houses, food vendors, music, costumes and so much more. Hosting the Halloween event took a lot of hard work and dedication but in the end, it was worth it.”

“Hosting a Trunk-4-Treat for Halloween event takes a lot of hard work and dedication but in the end, it’s worth it,” said CTF acting Warden L.A. Martinez. “Thank you members of the EAC and all of the volunteers who put this event together. The opportunity to see everyone come together to produce and enjoy such an event is truly rewarding.”

Submitted by Lt. Wil Landrum

Wasco visiting staff put smiles on kids’ faces

Wasco State Prison-Reception Center visiting staff put a smile on many children’s faces this Halloween season as they visited their loved ones. During October, children got to participate in a weekly Halloween-themed coloring contest.

The artwork was voted on weekly by the management team, with first through fifth place winners. They received a ribbon, coloring book with crayons, and their artwork was displayed inside the visiting room.

The weekend before Halloween, visiting staff also gave children a goodie bag as they were leaving.

Story by Lt. J. Farley

300 attend Avenal staff family night, Trunk-or-Treat

On Wednesday, October 26, Avenal State Prison (ASP) welcomed staff and their families to its Family Night and First Car, Truck and Bike Show-and-Shine which included a Trunk-or-Treat.
ASP welcomed approximately 300 staff and family members to a night of fun, food and entertainment.

There were 30 cars displayed at the car show to include a custom Peterbilt big rig provided by Heet Trucking. ASP staff provided various Halloween themed-custom booths. They included Nursing, ISU, CRT, IST, Personnel, and Records, as well as representatives from Kaiser and AFLAC.

The Halloween-themed night came with plenty of entertainment including music, car clubs from around the central valley, photo booth, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs and cotton candy for everyone. The event also included a costume contest, car show contest and multiple games for the children.

ASP families also were treated to a tour of a facility yard within the prison where Avenal/Pleasant Valley Crisis Response Team 8 performed a demonstration for the attendees.

Those who attended had nothing but great things to say and expressed their appreciation for a great family night.

The event was made possible thanks to donations from the Employee Action Committee, Correctional Chicano Workers Association, Rugged Car Club and ASP staff members.

“The night was a success due to team work. ASP staff came together with hard work, planning, and organization to make this a memorable night. The support from the family members and the creativity of the staff who decorated their booths and cars really impressed me and I can’t wait until the next one,” said Warden Martin Gamboa.

Submitted by Lt. Jose Reyes

VYCF staff go all in for Halloween

Staff at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility got into the Halloween spirit.

MCRP hosts Halloween reunification event

The Long Beach Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) recently hosted a Halloween-themed family reunification event on Oct. 27. Nearly 40 MCRP participants’ families arrived at the site, many dressed in fun Halloween costumes. First, MCRP staff and participants hosted a “Trunk or Treat” for the kids, with enough candy for each child to make three rounds around the parking lot. Families were then led to an outdoor patio that had been fully decorated for Halloween.

Following a buffet dinner, families and participants sat under the stars to watch an animated movie. The evening concluded with awards for the best costumes and gift bags for all of the children. Many MCRP participants who did not bring their families volunteered to help with setup, cleanup, and food service.

The event was a huge success thanks to the staff, volunteers, and everyone else involved. Tisha McAfee, the site’s Program Director, said she believes events like this one are critical to the rehabilitation process. Aside from regular weekend visits, the MCRP site hosts a family event about once a month. Plans for Thanksgiving are already in the works.

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