CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: August 25, 2023

Health Care

CCHCS staff posing for a group photo

CCI Mental Health Program Honored

California Correctional Institution (CCI) has announced a monumental achievement in its commitment to delivering exceptional mental health care. As of June 27, 2023, CCI has become the pioneering state prison mental health program in the United States to attain National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) accreditation, signifying CCI’s dedication to adhering to NCCHC’s nationally acclaimed standards of care for correctional health services.

Leading this remarkable endeavor was Dr. Kelly Nesson, Senior Psychologist Supervisor, whose leadership and dedication propelled the two-year collaborative effort. The Mental Health, Medical, Nursing, and Custodial teams worked together to prepare for this milestone review, exemplifying their collective commitment to elevating the quality of care CCI provides.

Visit Lifeline to read the full article.

California Model

deep heart performance group puts on a show for sac incarcerated

Deep Heart World Prison Tour visits SAC

Deep Heart World Prison Tour visited California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC) to perform for the population. Deep Heart performs uplifting rehabilitating, educational and transformative show of music, magic, comedy, theater, and dance.

The group created a platform where they can teach, inspire, and create a personal connection with those incarcerated. For the past 10years, Deep Heart has had success touching the lives of thousands of incarcerated. They have held more than 400 shows in prisons across multiple countries.

Fire Camps

Pine grove fire crew standing with fire truck

Pine Grove camp fights fires in Nevada County

The Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) crew typically stays close to their home base in Amador County. However, this week, for the first time since September 2021, PGYCC Fire Crew 1 responded to a fire in Nevada County. The crew was dispatched to the Highway Fire burning near the town of Washington.

Both CDCR and CAL FIRE staff say they are proud of the firefighters’ hard work and the dedication they show every day.

As of January 2023, the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) maintains the Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) in Amador County. It screens and accepts youths aged 18 and older from counties who contract with CDCR.


ASP incarcerated in face paint performing an act for their program

ASP Actors’ Gang performs

The Avenal State Prison (ASP) Actors’ Gang program once again captivated the audience with their talent and storytelling. Staff, friends, family, and formerly incarcerated people all came together to witness the theatrical performance.

Former ASP Warden Rosemary Ndoh attended the event. She expressed her awe at the actors’ performance and depth of the storyline.

ASP Actors Gang’s impact goes beyond the stage, as the program is a reminder of the potential for redemption and growth, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

OCE conducts strategic planning via TEAMs

OCE conducts strategic planning sessions

The Office of Correctional Education (OCE) has been participating in a strategic planning process. The process is intended to ensure CDCR has the best correctional education programming.

Throughout the year, school success teams at each school meet to monitor progress toward achieving their goals. Goals include:

  • student learning
  • staff engagement
  • and program participation. 

At the end of the year, each team can present their successes and challenges in a presentation.  Those in attendance include: 

  • School Principals
  • Assistant Principals
  • Teachers, Warden
  • OCE Superintendent
  • OCE Associate Superintendent(s)
  • and various internal stakeholders.

Upward Mobility

Ron Broomfield has ben appointed Director of the Division of Adult Institutions.

Jason Johnson has been appointed Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations.

Jennifer Benavidez has been appointed Deputy Director of Facility Operations, Division of Adult Institutions.

Molly Hill has been assigned as acting Warden, California Institution for Women.

Nathan Gaughan has been appointed as Chief Deputy Warden, California Men’s Colony.

Michael Dotson has been appointed as Chief Deputy Warden, Valley State Prison.

In the Community

PBSP recruitment booth speaking with the public

PBSP attends National Night Out

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) attended Crescent City’s Second National Night Out. Participants included:

  • Police
  • Del Norte County Sheriff
  • Fire
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Del Norte Ambulance
  • and California Highway Patrol.

About 500 people attended, socializing and having fun while kids enjoyed bounce houses and games. Local restaurants donated food and prizes were offered throughout the evening. Prizes included:

  • new bicycles
  • backpacks stuffed with back-to-school supplies
  • and gift cards.

Community and agencies came together to make the night a success. PBSP’s recruitment team spoke with many people from the community during the event.

Organizers say it is a good way to stay involved in Del Norte County, unifying the community and law enforcement.

CTF backpack drive for local schools

CTF hold back to school drive

Correctional Training Facility’s (CTF) Employee Action Committee (EAC) held a school supply drive for La Gloria Elementary School in Gonzales. La Gloria Principal Diana Dietrich received 35 backpacks filled with essential school supplies.

EAC members expressed gratitude to the staff who played a part in making this drive a success. Participating staff members were entered into a prize drawing. Twenty-three walked away with Amazon gift cards, a television, and an Apple Watch.

“Our mission is not just to serve those within our facility but to extend our hand to the community that surrounds us. By supporting education, we are planting the seeds for a brighter future. The generosity displayed by our staff is a testament to the spirit of unity we wish to promote,” said EAC Chairperson G. Butler.

OVSRS group photo at Placer county senior fair

OVSRS attends Placer County Senior Fair

The Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) attended the Placer County Senior Resource Fair. Maidu Community Center hosted the fair for community outreach within Placer County.

Placer Protect, Placer County District Attorney’s Office, and Placer Health and Human Services put on the fair to provide resources to seniors who need them. OVSRS staff spoke to many seniors, answered questions, and spread awareness about resources offered to victims of crime.

In the Media

CIM incarcerated with face paint in an acting program

Incarcerated people participate in Actor’s Gang

California Institution for Men (CIM), Facility C, welcomed the Actors’ Gang Prison Project on July 17.

Incarcerated actors showcased their abilities to express happiness, sadness, fear, and other emotions through a series of short performances.

Families of the incarcerated actors attended the performance. Others attending included Warden (A) John Merchant, Chief Deputy Warden Travis Pennington, Community Resources Manager (A) Carmen Jimenez, and Facility C custody staff.

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

Visit Corrections1 website to read the full article.

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