Week in Review

CDCR Week in Review: December 9, 2022

What’s New?

Planned prison closures and facility deactivations

As outlined in the 2022-23 budget with an eye toward fiscal responsibility, CDCR is moving forward with closing one prison and ceasing operation of another leased facility as a state prison, and will deactivate some facilities within six prisons.

A press release announcing the plan is available, as are Frequently Asked Questions.

CDCR and the Administration are working to minimize impact to staff and the communities. CDCR will work to limit the impact to employees affected by these closures and deactivations. This will include options to transfer both within and outside of impacted counties, and identification of employees for redirection to neighboring prisons where there are existing identified vacancies.

CDCR will begin the process to close Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) in Blythe, with an anticipated closure in March 2025. Similar to the recent announcement by the Administration for workers impacted by the pending closure of the California Correctional Center in Lassen County, the Administration plans to work directly with community stakeholders in Riverside County to help support workers and foster a bottom-up economic resilience plan for the community impacted by the closure of CVSP.

Additionally, the department will exit the $32 million, annual lease with CoreCivic for California City Correctional Facility, terminating the contract in March 2024, effectively ending the use of that facility as a state prison.

The department is also planning the deactivation of certain facilities in six prisons, including: Folsom Women’s Facility; Facility C in Pelican Bay State Prison; West Facility in California Men’s Colony; Facility A in California Rehabilitation Center; Facility D in California Institution for Men; and Facility D in California Correctional Institution. Should a significant need for capacity arise in the future due to a natural disaster or other serious need, this option gives the State the possibility to re-activate these facilities at a later date.

For the incarcerated population, transfers will be made to other institutions that meet the housing needs of the population. CDCR will work on a case-by-case basis to place each person in an appropriate prison to meet their rehabilitative and custody needs. All credits earned for self-help, educational, and vocational programs will transfer with the individual. Individuals will have the opportunity to finish courses in progress.

The two prisons were chosen pursuant to criteria set forth by the Legislature in Penal Code Section 2067. CDCR’s leadership carefully evaluated the options for prison closures, pursuant to the 2022-23 budget and Penal Code requirements, and took into account several factors including cost to operate; impact of closure on the surrounding communities and the workforce; housing needs for all populations; long-term investments in state-owned and operated correctional facilities; public safety and rehabilitation; and durability of the state’s solution to prison overcrowding.


CDCR Unlocked

CDCR unlocked logo

In the latest episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast, Community Resource Manager Martina Virrey shares how CRMs are vital to building community partnerships throughout California.

From implementing rehabilitative programs to organizing fundraisers to recruiting volunteers, CRMs do it all! Listen here.

CDCR Unlocked explores correctional issues including rehabilitation and reentry, peace officer recruitment, employee wellness and other criminal justice topics. 


3 Questions With …

Information Technology Supervisor II Robert Carrasco Jr.

Man in a red checkered shirt stands outside

Robert Carrasco Jr. and his team at Enterprise Information Services (EIS) represent the Security Intelligence and Operations Center arm of the Information Security Office. They preemptively minimize risk to the CDCR network and personnel by alerting responsible parties to threats, including phishing.

Carrasco is the former leader of the eDiscovery unit, with a background in digital forensics, data recovery, and incident management. He joined the CDCR team in 2016 and has been in his current role since last November. Here, Carrasco shares why it is so important to use the “Report Phish” button on your state email to report suspicious messages.

What is phishing and why should people be concerned?

Phishing is one of the easiest ways to convince us to click on a link, open a website, or enter passwords, credit cards, banking, or medical information. 

Everyone must keep a keen eye on the email they receive, as these attacks are getting more difficult to spot since they can look very convincing, and oftentimes come from email addresses that are from people or businesses you know, and may even look like they come from yourself.

If someone suspects an email is a phishing attack, what should they do?

Graphic of a fish with a hook

The fastest way to report a Phish at work is to use the Phish Alert Button (PAB). It is the Blue Fish installed on every Outlook client toolbar as well as the Outlook.com web client. This coming year, we are expanding to the Outlook app for iOS and Android too. 

The PAB, pictured at left, does all the work for you and provides instant feedback to thank you for your submission, it even lets you know when my team is conducting a phishing resiliency exercise on all personnel, which can be expected often going forward. 

If you don’t have the PAB in your outlook toolbar, you can submit a Remedy ticket to the Security Intelligence and Operations Center, and we’ll take a look to see why and get it fixed for you.)

What will EIS do once that alert is received?

We review each and every submitted PAB report manually, checking to confirm that the email is in fact an attack or, can be processed normally, and we endeavor to provide feedback to each submitter immediately. To this end, we ask that you report suspected Phish emails and not SPAM. We always recommend signing up for any shopping or non-work related sites using a personal email address, to minimize any lists or SPAM you get at work.)

And last but certainly not least: It’s important that we do not forward messages in our trash or junk mail folders in Outlook to Phishing. These messages have already been processed and should be left in Junk to be deleted and purged normally.


Health Care

Colorful poster with the words "We are stronger when we listen and smarter when we share)
The winning 2022 poster, by Edith Wallman of Salinas Valley State Prison

Patient Safety Week poster contest, Patient Safety Champion nominations

Are you an artist just waiting for a chance to show your skills?  Do you know an amazing Patient Safety Champion?  If you answered yes, then keep reading!  As part of the statewide CCHCS/CDCR promotion of Patient Safety for 2023, we are asking for Poster Submissions based on the 2023 slogan of “Medication without Harm” and nominations for Patient Safety Champions.  View the information on submitting posters and Patient Safety Champions.


Staff Resources

Our Promise campaign end-of-year giving

The statewide Our Promise campaign ends December 30. Through this campaign, state employees can make one-time or ongoing voluntary donations to charities of their choice via payroll deductions. Donations made before December 30 will receive a consolidated tax receipt for use in filing taxes in 2023.

Visit OurPromiseCA.org/nonprofits to review a list of more than 1,800 certified nonprofit partners and choose a cause you’re passionate about.

Succession Management Newsletter

The December edition of the Succession Management Program newsletter is out! Read about Lunch & Learns, exam resources, and what it takes to be a good leader. Check it out.

CalPERS member webcast

CalPERS will hold a webinar at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, covering Community Property.

Employees who are going through a separation, divorce, or termination of domestic partnership, may have their benefits affected. In this Community Property webcast, you’ll learn important information about how community property may affect retirement including what a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is, the methods available for division of a CalPERS account or retirement check, the process for filing, and more.

The webinar is free. Employees can register for CalPERS webcasts on the Member Education page.


Employee Spotlight

DAI Deputy Director retires

Kim Seibel

Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) Deputy Director of Facility Operations Kimberly Seibel retired December 8, after three decades of service with CDCR. Read more.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Ms. Seibel for her dedication and 30 years of exemplary service to the Department,” DAI Director Connie Gipson said. “Please join me in congratulating Ms. Seibel and wishing her happiness and continued good health in her retirement.”


In our Institutions

Four correctional officers with McGruff the crime fighting dog
The ASP recruiters with McGruff the Crime Dog

Avenal recruitment team never stops

Over the last few months the Avenal State Prison (ASP) Recruitment Team has been busy working throughout the Valley. The team has attended various events such as National Night Out at the Lemoore Naval Air Station, Lemoore High School’s Career Fair, a Community Career Fair at the Hanford Civic Auditorium, Avenal Police Department’s Community First Responder Appreciation Day, Career Day at Avenal High School, West Hills College Career Fair in Firebaugh, the Mid State Fair, Kern County Fair, and Orange Grove High schools Career and College Fair.

The ASP team has been working hard with recruitment efforts and community collaboration. CDCR is working hard to hire a diverse group of correctional officers over the next year. CDCR is specifically looking for individuals inspired by making a positive difference in the lives of others while helping carry out the department’s rehabilitative and public safety missions.

The ability to recruit locally is something near and dear to the ASP recruitment team. With members of the team raised locally, it gives a whole new meaning to giving back when you are able to assist members of the community facilitate their way through the hiring process.

The selection process has never been faster, safer, and more convenient for candidates. Interested applicants can apply at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/por/.


Parole Operations

A large group of parole agents in black polo shirts

Operation Soft Knock a success

The El Monte District of the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) recently conducted a “Soft Knock Parolee-at-Large (PAL) Investigation” operation. The operation’s mission was to enhance public safety and bring suspended parolees back into compliance with their conditions of parole.

The safety of the public, staff, and people on parole supervision was paramount. In line with the guiding principle of “Building and Strengthening Community Partnerships,” DAPO had a visible presence in cities across the southeast Los Angeles area. During this time, parole agents (PA) collected collateral information from numerous citizens of those communities.

The operation served as an opportunity for 31 PAs in the El Monte District to team build and bond with one another outside of the typical work day. Volunteering staff members cohesively worked toward the common goal of public safety and located nine PALs.

District Administrator Melanie Reyes would like to extend a special thank you to PA III Ricardo St. Louis-Franklin, who served as the Lead Agent-in-Charge, the El Monte district supervisory team, and all 31 staff members who volunteered their time. The operation was successful thanks to their hard work and efforts to bring individuals into compliance.


Top Inside CDCR stories for the week

K-9 Camo takes Riverside top detection honors

Rehabilitation programs bring the R to CDCR

CDCR staff, residents serve Thanksgiving help

K-9 Tucker, 8 years with CDCR, passes away

At 91, DJJ volunteer has no plans to stop