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WV hosts global audience at 23rd Mock Prison Riot


May 10, 2019

W.Va. hosts global audience at 23rd Mock Prison Riot


MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – More than 1,230 correctional and law enforcement officers and officials from across the U.S. and around the world converged on the former West Virginia Penitentiary this week for the 2019 Mock Prison Riot.


Participants from 33 states and 22 countries attended the four-day event. Highlights included extensive training exercises, team and individual skills competitions, and a technology expo featuring 45 vendors. The W.Va. Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) organizes the annual event at the historic former prison, which operated from 1876 until 1995, in conjunction with the non-profit W.Va. Corrections Training Foundation.


“The domestic and international attendees always comment how beautiful West Virginia is and how the people of our state are so friendly,” said Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy, whose department includes DCR. “This is also important for our economy, in that over 1,000 attendees booked hotel rooms up to a year in advance for this training experience.”


The two days of skills competition saw 34 U.S. and international teams take part. For the third consecutive year, the Michigan Department of Corrections won the Tactical Skills Team Competition. Senegal’s team took top honors in the Super Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) event. The tactical training portion of Mock Prison Riot, meanwhile, featured 59 scenarios and 43 teams participating.



“It has been our privilege once again to host our fellow public safety officers from around the world and to continue offering the outstanding training and technology opportunities for developing and improving their skills,” said Corrections and Rehabilitation Commissioner Betsy Jividen.


The May 5-8 event drew representatives from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Of these international delegations, 17 attended with support from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.


“The men and women of West Virginia corrections provided a wonderful learning experience for the domestic and international attendees,” Sandy said. “Working with the U.S. State Department, foreign embassies, and interpreters makes this large-scale event a challenge and our state employees rose to the occasion.”


Jividen hosted a group discussion for women attendees, and later led them on a tour of West Virginia’s Lakin Correctional Center.


“This group of international women spending the day together and touring our women’s facility gave us a unique opportunity to forge new friendships,” Jividen said. “We shared successes, addressed issues of the worldwide incarcerated female population, and learned from each other about ways in which we can all meet the challenges facing us - both as correctional professionals and as women in the criminal justice field. I know we are all looking forward to continuing to build upon, and benefit from, these relationships in years to come.”


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