CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: August 4, 2023

What’s New

GARE's CDCR demographic report

GARE shares CDCR/CCHCS Employee Demographic Reports

CDCR and CCHCS are committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all. It is important to know the diversity of the departments’ workforce compared to our communities and those we serve. Staff demographics enable us to better understand employee representation and identify any areas of concern or trends.

If you’d like to provide feedback or have questions, please contact GARE at

Visit GARE’s website to read the full article.

CDCR Unlocked

CDCR Unlocked

Recruitment on the Road at San Quentin

In this week’s episode, Sergeant Corey Ringer heads to San Quentin State Prison (SQ) to meet up with three CDCR employees to hear what a day in their shoes looks like working at California’s oldest prison. From its rich history to the comradery among staff, SQ offers an environment where employees can grow and learn new skills every day being part of a team. Staff events and activities are hosted to support one another and donate to the community at this family-oriented workplace. 

Listen to the latest episode of CDCR Unlocked.

Staff Spotlight

CMF SRN Adwoa Cooper poses with her dolls

CMF’s Adwoa Cooper wins at CA State Fair

California Medical Facility (CMF) Supervising Registered Nurse (SRN) II Adwoa Cooper creates dolls using a Japanese technique called amigurumi.

“It is a Japanese word that just means little knit or crocheted stuffed animal. We take it to the next level and make people and different things with it,” said Cooper.

Her work was on display at the California State Fair at Cal Expo Sacramento. She took home two top awards for a crocheted tribute to rap music. Her “Happy 50th Hip Hop” won Best of Division and first place in the amigurumi category. Cooper is continuing ode to hip-hop has also gained her exposure.

“I grew up listening to hip-hop. I like to honor hip-hop artists with their own dolls,” said Cooper.

For the fair contest, Cooper made dolls that resemble rappers Too Short, E-40, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and others. Competition coordinator Delgreta Brown called the dolls a “culturally relevant celebration of African American music.” Cooper is looking forward to retiring in five years and opening a shop in downtown Fairfield where she can teach other people, particularly youth, to make dolls.

California Model

man barbecuing hotdogs

VSP hosts staff appreciation barbecue

A staff appreciation barbecue, led by Valley State Prison (VSP) leadership, offered food, beverages and desserts.

Warden M. McVay and Chief Deputy Warden M. Dotson were hands-on for the appreciation barbecue. Meanwhile the Community Resource Office packaged and distributed bagged meals.

Despite the heat, the event brought volunteers from medical, mental health and custody, to celebrate the staff’s dedication and commitment to VSP’s mission.

“Today’s event is all about fostering a positive environment and recognizing the vital impact of staff’s collective work efforts,” said ISU Lt. E. Guthery.

Valley State Prison celebrates Fourth of July

VSP incarcerated prepping the drink station for the bbq

Several prisons held July 4 celebrations to not only observe the holiday, but also offer positive activities for staff and incarcerated people.

Valley State Prison (VSP) held Fourth of July festivities on the prison’s main yard to celebrate the holiday. Warden McVay organized a Fourth of July barbecue event with art and live music for the incarcerated population. The event provided attendees a unique opportunity to display their artistic talents.

In the gymnasium, artists proudly displayed their artwork, revealing a diverse range of creative expressions. From intricate drawings to vibrant paintings, the art exhibition displayed the depth of creativity among the incarcerated population.

“I’ve been in prison for 27 years and I’ve ever seen anything like this,” said an attendee.

The event was well received by all.

incarcerated receiving popcorn from CO

WSP hosts July 4 event 

Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP) visiting staff hosted a Fourth of July event for incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. Staff filled the visiting room with patriotic themed decorations. The event included:

  • Coloring activities
  • Fourth of July themed photo station
  • Unlimited snow cones and popcorn.

The event proved a success and  promoted a positive interaction between CDCR staff, incarcerated people, and family members.  Many expressed their gratitude for the efforts put forth in making this event so successful. Thank you to the WSP visiting staff who played a vital role in this event:

  • Lieutenant Anthony Ball
  • Sergeant Maria Martinez
  • Sergeant Aaron Scruggs
  • Officer Omar Soberon
  • Officer Julia Delarosa.

Upward Mobility

Justin Adelman has ben named Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Fiscal Services.

In the Community

CMF staff stand with Vacaville Sunrise Rotary Club members for a photo

CMF visits the Vacaville Sunrise Rotary Club

California Medical Facility (CMF) enjoyed breakfast with the Vacaville Sunrise Rotary Club to discuss how CMF gives back to the local community.

The Vacaville Sunrise Rotary Club is comprised of business owners and strategic community members. These individuals provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build up their community.

“My goal is to collaborate with the community and show them that we are not just a prison. We have staff and incarcerated individuals who want to give back to the town in which we all work or reside. I am so glad we can help our community in ways such as this. It feels really nice to give back to the town I grew up in,” stated Warden Cueva.

The Vacaville Sunrise Rotary Club has a children’s fishing derby in the works and CMF’s incarcerated population is assisting in the assembly of fishing poles for the event.

In the Media

The Auteurs of San Quentin

The Auteurs of San Quentin

Like many independent filmmakers, Anthony Gomez has some quibbles with his own work. He wishes he’d had more time to shoot. His lead looks natural on camera but the voiceover delivery is stiff. A friend came through with some original music, but the post process was crazy. The usual stuff. What’s unusual is that Gomez, 26, made his most recent film, a short documentary about working out, while living inside San Quentin State Prison.

“It’s the first time I’ve had my parents say they’re proud of me since I graduated from high school,” Gomez says of the videos he has directed, starred in and contributed to while inside San Quentin. Among the highlights is a series of mockumentary shorts inspired by The Office. Staring deadpan into the camera after the guy next to you says something stupid, it turns out, is a cinematic language that translates to workplaces everywhere.

Visit The Hollywood Reporter to read the full article.

KALW incarcerated individual

Rediscovering baseball at the the San Quentin Field of Dreams

When you hear someone talk about catching a Giants or an A’s game, you probably think of the professional baseball teams that play in San Francisco and Oakland. But at San Quentin, you’d be talking about one of the teams of incarcerated men who play inside the prison.

Anthony Carvalho is one of them. He came to San Quentin in a low place, and when he saw the sign showing San Quentin’s field of dreams, he knew his life would take a turn for the better. Uncuffed producer Juan Haines captures Anthony’s relationship with baseball over the years.

Visit KALW’s website to read the full article.

Top Inside CDCR Stories

SATF Peace Day exemplifies California Model

ASP sees success with Paw Estates

CDCR staff, incarcerated mark Fourth of July

CVSP rolls out Shared Governance program

CDCR unveils comprehensive institution data dashboard