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WV Mock Prison Riot again draws national, global interest


May 11, 2018

W.Va. Mock Prison Riot again draws national, global interest


MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – More than 1,100 representatives from 30 states and 18 countries converged on the former West Virginia Penitentiary for the 22nd Annual Mock Prison Riot correctional training and technology trade expo.

The successful four-day event strengthened the Mountain State’s status as a global showcase for the latest correctional tactics, techniques and tech. The W.Va. Division of Corrections organizes the annual event in conjunction with the non-profit W.Va. Corrections Training Foundation.

As it did last year, the Michigan Department of Corrections took 1st Place in the Tactical Skills Team Competition. Senegal’s contingent won the Super Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) event. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections secured top honors in the sniper competition.

All told, 31 teams participated in the two-day skills competition while 35 teams executed 75 tactical training scenarios before the event concluded May 2. Other highlights include the multi-day technology trade show and the certification classes in less-lethal munitions, which saved the participating officers’ agencies thousands of dollars.

“The Division of Corrections is pleased and proud to host this one-of-a-kind tactical and training opportunity for our correctional, law enforcement, and public safety partners from across the country and around the world,” said Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen. ”Our staff, along with the West Virginia Corrections Training Foundation, is committed to providing participants with the opportunity to use the latest technology, take part in the most relevant and realistic training scenarios, and compete in the most challenging tactical courses and contests.”

This year’s Mock Prison Riot drew teams from Canada as well as countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia and Africa. A number of these teams were sponsored by the U.S.

State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. INL acting Deputy Assistant Director Heather Merritt toured the 142-year-old prison-turned-training compound while observing the various workshops and training exercises.

The annual Mock Prison Riot will continue under the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation and its Bureau of Prisons and Jails, following the enactment of this year’s correctional consolidation legislation on July 1.

“As a training experience, it is unparalleled, and we are honored to be part of this historic, important, and continuing tradition,” Commissioner Jividen said.


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LAWRENCE MESSINA (304) 558-2930 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov