This paper describes the features of the Mock Prison Riot, which has been staged annually, in April or May, since 1997 on the grounds of the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville.
This annual event is jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Science and Technology, and the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation. The mock riot is unlike any other law enforcement training in the world, facilitating the linking of technologies and end-users under realistic conditions. There are four core components of the training. One component is the technology showcase. Exhibitors from across the Nation and around the world display the newest cutting-edge law enforcement and corrections (LEC) technologies. Emphasis is given to technologies designated by the National Institute of Justice as high priority. A second component consists of numerous free workshops on LEC technologies, tactics, and topics, many of which result in certification. A third component consists of training scenarios, which sets this training experience apart from other trade shows. Practitioners can touch, see, feel, and deploy technologies from the showcase in training scenarios they design. All areas of the prison are used. The fourth component involves technology demonstrations. Experts in the use of the technologies displayed in the showcase present their products directly to practitioners, allowing for immediate feedback. The mock riot is open only to law enforcement and corrections practitioners (active or retired), support personnel, and active duty or retired military.