Mock prison riots: no joke when it comes to training corrections professionals.

Author:Rubenstein, Jim
Position:Guest Editorial - Editorial


In the spring of 1997, about 70 correctional officers from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio gathered at the newly decommissioned West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville to participate in a technology evaluation for the Mock Prison Riot, an event no one in the industry had really heard of until just weeks before its start. The exercise lasted one day, wherein one technology was showcased and one training scenario was executed.

This year, approaching the 20th anniversary of the first event, the Mock Prison Riot welcomed correctional leaders and operators from 36 states and 29 countries for the four-day event. Forty-three tactical teams executed upward of 60 training scenarios, and operators from around the world participated in a "Skills Competition," as well as workshops and lectures to enhance skills and knowledge. Additionally, 60 technology developers had the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their wares. From its humble beginnings, the Mock Prison Riot has grown into a world-renowned, corrections-focused training and technology event held every spring at the West Virginia Penitentiary.

True to its roots of less lethal technology evaluation and demonstration, the Mock Prison Riot remains the primary means for corrections professionals from all over the U.S. and the world to offer candid feedback to the very developers who provide them with the tools they need to successfully resolve any situation. Operators are afforded the means to shape training, tactics and technology development on a global scale. Combine the technology deployment aspect of the event and the diverse attendance demographic with the nature of the venue, and the result is an opportunity for training and technology demonstration like nowhere else.

Although the West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDOC) has participated in every Mock Prison Riot since its inception, it was not until 2012 that an opportunity presented itself for a partner with the West Virginia Corrections Training Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to actually oversee and manage the event. It is truly an honor for the great state of West Virginia to be able to offer this unique and amazing experience to the corrections industry each year. WVDOC also is pleased to announce partnerships with the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), as well as the U.S. State Department's Bureau of International...

To continue reading