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ESPN films CDCR staff vs. inmates soccer match

The Correctional Training Facility hosted a friendly soccer match, with ESPN Deportes recording it all

By Greg Friese

SOLEDAD, Calif. — ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language channel, filmed a friendly soccer match between staff and inmates at the Correctional Training Facility.

“Today, we recognized and addressed the emotional needs and past experiences of our population. We are taking a step forward in creating a supportive and understanding environment,” said Associate Warden K. Binning, who played in the match.

The event is expected to be included in an upcoming documentary.

According to CDCR, the match is the first of many planned events to include staff and the incarcerated population in collaborative programming. The staff team included correctional officers, administrators, education, and health care staff from the Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison.

Staff and incarcerated refereed the match while incarcerated individuals also emceed the game, providing commentary.

The game was recorded and will be broadcast on the institutional TV network, allowing the entire population to watch.

“This event has been a milestone in showing that the California Model works. Positive interactions between staff and the incarcerated population will result in a healthier working and living environment,” said acting Warden E.J. Borla.

Two pillars of the California Model are normalization and dynamic security. Normalization seeks to make life inside prison more closely resemble life in the community, while dynamic security fosters relationship building and positive interactions between incarcerated people and staff.