It's not easy working for the state prison system. You spend the majority of your waking hours dealing with the criminal element -- or at least thinking about the criminal element -- and when you get home, you have to selectively edit out details of the workday for your kids' benefit. ("Yes, children, Daddy got feces thrown at him again by a murdering rapist" doesn't make for very good dinner-table conversation.) But after next week, prison employees will no longer be held captive by parental correctness. That's because on April 26, the Colorado Department of Corrections is hosting its first "Take Your Daughter to Work Day," held in conjunction with the national event of the same name that's sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women.
So will the little ones get a tour of the prison floor? Not exactly. "We are not taking our kids into any of our facilities," says DOC spokeswoman Heidi Hayes. "That's our concern -- we don't take children into prison." (Tell that to the heavy-sentence-happy Colorado Legislature!) Instead, volunteers will give the little ladies a tour of the department's training academy in Cañon City, where they'll explain funding and budget issues using fake money, instruct the girls in self-defense techniques (never bend over to pick up your soap, for example) and demonstrate proper handcuffing methods.
The participants -- about 25 daughters are expected to attend, ranging in age from 7 to 22 -- will also be introduced to various career possibilities in the exciting growth industry of corrections. "Women can do anything except strip search a male inmate," notes Hayes, who worked in a men's prison for five years. "You have to be a male guard to strip search a male inmate, and you have to be a female guard to strip search a female inmate. But being a female doesn't preclude you from doing anything else."
No doubt forward-thinking parents will be elated by that bit of parity.
"Some parents have jobs where they can take their kids there and show them what they do, but for safety reasons, we can't just take our kids into a facility," Hayes adds. "So this is important, especially for little kids who don't always understand what you are doing."
Corner Pocket Billiards in Aurora had been putting daughters to work for months before vice cops shut it down -- in the process creating one of the hottest pages yet posted on smokinggun.com, a Web site devoted to putting public documents online that deal with outlandish cases or famous people. According to a lengthy Aurora police report, bikini-clad girls ages 13 to 17 had wrestled in syrup or applesauce in a windowless back room of the bar for the entertainment of dozens of onlookers; more often than not, the bikinis ended up separated from the contestants.
The Aurora cops who raided the place in March seized two videotapes containing footage of the matches and dutifully watched each and every one -- 49 matches on the first tape and 14 on the second. "Match #5: Two females in the applesauce. One female's buttocks become exposed," reads a description of one; "Match #8: A tag team match of three females, wrestling in applesauce, clad in bikinis. With the breasts of two females exposed," reads another.
One of the bar's owners, Michael Anthony Smith, 27, was arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of minors, possession of the drug Ecstasy, and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Two other people associated with the bar, which has now given up its license, were also arrested on drug charges. When applesauce is outlawed...
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