CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: August 18, 2023

California Model

SAC incarcerated playing foosball

SAC upgrades visiting rooms

California State Prison, Sacramento’s (SAC) visiting team has been working hard to make the visiting experience family-friendly and memorable.  The visiting team, led by Captain R. Cross, requested equipment during recent closures. Through the Inmate Welfare Fund, SAC obtained funds to bring recreational items into the visiting rooms. 

SAC visiting rooms received:

  • cornhole sets
  • giant checkers
  • giant Jenga
  • giant Connect Four
  • video game consoles
  • foosball
  • ping-pong
  • and billiards.
CIW staff standing with paintings

CIW hosts school year kick-off

El Prado Adult School (EPAS) staff at California Institution for Women (CIW) hosted its 2023-2024 school year kick-off event. Carolyn Owens Community Center in Chino hosted the event. The theme of the professional development was “Adding Paint to the EPAS Canvas.” This featured activities such as:

  • Faculty Feud
  • a school-themed “sip-free” Paint and Sip
  • and a creative “Four Corners Style Getting to Know You” game.

Principal Gayla Brown, Assistant Principals Shaun Ward and Nona Jones, and Academic Coach Will Bradley worked to ensure everyone had fun. The goal was for the educators to experience high impact instructional strategies to enhance their students’ experiences. Nina Thomas, Regional Associate Superintendent, Office of Correctional Education attended the event.

In Our Institutions

PBSP participates in Relay for Life

PBSP relay for life

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) supported efforts for Del Norte county’s Relay for Life event. Relay for Life is a charity walk that supports cancer research. Local businesses, Pelican Bay Community Resource Office, and numerous people arrived at Del Norte High School to participate.

The event included food, live music, and people walking the track, each lap counting as support towards the cause. PBSP incarcerated donated crafts and paintings to sell during the event and donate to Relay for Life.

PBSP held a Relay for Life fundraiser at the institution for the incarcerated, staff, and volunteers. The D facility band played during the event while the D facility population walked around the recreational track. Participants donated what they could in support of cancer research. Approximately 300 individuals participated in this event. PBSP raised over $2,500.


CIM incarcerated in actor program with face paint on

CIM hosts acting program

California Institution for Men (CIM) welcomed the Actors Gang Prison Program to the institution.

Incarcerated persons showcased their ability to express emotions theatrically through a series of performance skits.

Attendees included:

  • Warden (A) John Merchant
  • Chief Deputy Warden Travis Pennington
  • Community Resources Manager (A) Carmen Jimenez
  • and Facility C custody staff.

Program participants’ loved ones were also invited to attend.

“It is great to see incarcerated persons express their emotions through their acting performances,” said Warden (A) Merchant.

CRC graduates standing for a group photo with staff

CRC, Vista Del Rio adult school hosts graduations

California Rehabilitation Center’s (CRC) Vista Del Rio Adult School hosted two summer graduation ceremonies to honor student achievements. The first graduation ceremony paid tribute to 123 students who received diplomas, certifications, or program completions. Certificates were handed out as follows:

  • 19 high school diplomas
  • 45 GED certificates
  • 77 Career Technical Education certifications
  • and 6 Peer Literacy Mentor Program completions.

The second graduation ceremony celebrated college graduates from Norco College and Pitzer College. Thirty-six CRC students received associate degrees from Norco College. Three received bachelor’s degrees from Pitzer College. Guest speakers included:

  • Dr. Monica Green, Norco College President
  • Dr. Wolde-Ab Isaac, Riverside Community College District Chancellor
  • and Strom C. Thacker, Pitzer College President.

In the Community

CMF warden throws first pitch at Rivercats game

CMF warden throws first pitch for River Cats

CDCR staff recently attended a River Cats game, highlighted by the California Medical Facility (CMF) acting warden throwing the first pitch.

CMF, California State Prison, Solano, CSP-Sacramento and Folsom State Prison joined forces to host a family, friends and colleague night at Sutter Health Park.

“It was a fun night as all institutions bonded over watching a baseball game between the Sacramento River Cats and the Oklahoma City Dodgers,” said CDCR organizers. The CMF and SOL Honor Guard teams presented the colors for the event.

Calipatria staff with backpacks for a school drive

Calipatria hosts Back to School Drive

Calipatria State Prison’s (CAL) Latin American Club hosted a school supply donation drive for children in the Calipatria school district. The school district includes the cities of Calipatria and Niland, both in Imperial County.

Children of all ages arrived and collected a backpack of their liking. All the backpacks were filled with school supplies that included binders, spiral notebooks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, pens & pencils, erasers, glue/glue sticks, pencil cases, scissors and rulers.

The day was filled with joy, laughter, and smiles on the children’s faces. This annual event has become a tradition at CAL. It brings friendly competition among staff to see which department can donate the most backpacks. 

The selfless generosity from CAL’s staff is a reminder of their commitment to neighboring communities. CAL wants to highlight the importance placed on the success for the future of the children who live within them.

Visit Inside CDCR to read the full article.

CIM staff with backpacks for students

CIM back-to-school drive

California Institution for Men (CIM) partnered with Chino Valley Employee’ Association (CVEA) to host the annual back-to-school supply drive.

The event is a collaborative effort between CIM, CVEA, and Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) Hope Center. This year, CIM and CVEA collected:

rulers, binders, composition books, markers, crayons, glue sticks, and over 200 backpacks.

“Thanks to the generosity of CIM and its amazing staff, this year’s event was a huge success,” said Liz Lara, Family Services Program Specialist of the CVUSD.


CCJBH logo

CCJBH Juvenile Justice Workgroup

When: September 15, 2023, 12:45-2:45 p.m.

Where: Board of Parole Hearings, 1515 K St., Suite 550, Sacramento, CA 95811 or virtually via Teams

Description: Discuss implementation of Senate Bill 823 from a State- and local-level perspectives.

Click here to register for the virtual webinar via Microsoft Teams.

CCJBH Diversion and Reentry Workgroup

When: September 15, 2023, 3-5 p.m.

Where: Board of Parole Hearings, 1515 K St., Suite 550, Sacramento, CA 95811 or virtually via Teams

Description: Discuss efforts and resources to support the behavioral health/justice-involved population in getting streamlined access to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Click here to register for the virtual webinar via Microsoft Teams.

Top Inside CDCR Stories

SRNII Adwoa Cooper wins at State Fair

AW Rob Kettle is CIW Employee of Year

CDCR staff get into Galt’s National Night Out

RJD leadership holds Staff Appreciation Day

CMF warden throws first pitch for River Cats