CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: February 3, 2023

What’s New?

Masking update

Facial covering requirements have been updated for CDCR, CCHCS, and DJJ institutions and facilities. With exceptions for settings such as clinics and quarantine/isolation areas, face coverings are now optional. This updated facial covering guidance (see attached tables) applies to all individuals who live in or enter an institution/facility regardless of vaccination/booster status. This includes residents, staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors.

Update to visiting in institutions and camps

Beginning Feb. 1, 2023, those participating in visiting, including family visiting, will no longer be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status or a COVID-19 test. All visitors must continue to self-screen negative for COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the visit.

Additionally, face coverings are no longer required for visitors, but encouraged. The Department will make masks available to those who wish to wear one during a visit.

Residents in medical isolation will not be eligible for in-person or video visiting.

If staff observe residents or visitors displaying symptoms consistent with a contagious disease, the visit may be terminated.


Graphic: Celebrate Black History Month

Every February, the United States celebrates Black History Month to honor African Americans’ rich and impactful contributions. Throughout the month, CDCR will highlight African American employees and volunteers who have helped build the Department we know today. Stay tuned!

This recognition extends far past the month of February. CDCR and our Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Ambassadors are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts year-round.

(Learn more about GARE.)

In Our Institutions

Four men and a woman in correctional uniforms
From left are Miguel Morales Jr., Miguel Sr., new officer Jeremiah, Martha and Zachary.

CDCR is a tradition for Morales family

Two decades ago, Miguel Morales became a CDCR correctional officer, forging a career path followed by four of his other family members.

The most recent Morales to wear the CDCR badge is Jeremiah, who graduated with Academy Class 1-23A.

“As of July 2023, I will have worked at Calipatria State Prison for 20 years,” said Morales. “My oldest son Miguel Morales Jr. has worked for CDCR for nine years and is currently employed at Richard J. Donovan (RJD) Correctional Facility. My third son Zachary has been at RJD for seven years. My wife, Martha, has been employed at Calipatria State Prison for six years. Now my youngest son, Jeremiah, just graduated the Academy and will report to Calipatria. We all are Correctional Officers at our current prisons.”

Parole Operations

A large group of firefighters.

Formerly incarcerated trainees prepare for fire careers

Sixteen previously incarcerated individuals participated in a graduation ceremony for their completion of the Firefighter Training and Reentry Program (FTRP) at the Ventura Training Center (VTC). Family and friends of the trainees were able to attend and share in this celebratory achievement.

CDCR staff, along with CAL FIRE, the California Conservation Corps, and Anti-Recidivism Coalition acknowledged the trainees’ commitment, dedication, and accomplishments. While incarcerated, the trainees made a commitment to work toward their reentry into society by participating in CDCR fire camps and firehouses. Upon the trainees’ release, they were accepted into the FTRP. The trainees continued their firefighter training and rehabilitative programming to ensure a successful reintegration into the community.

FTRP is an 18-month voluntary program that promotes rehabilitation, life skills, and job readiness through advanced firefighter certification and training courses. The program consists of three training modules: Wildland, Public Safety, and Fire Aide and Structural Training. Upon completion of the FTRP, the participants will have the training and skills to transition into a career in firefighting.

Since VTC opened in 2018, 106 participants have graduated from the program, with 103 accepting employment with CAL FIRE and three with Orange County Fire Authority.


Two men and a woman at a CDCR recruitment booth.
Sajeev Madhavan, Phuong Nguyen and Katrina Vo. Photo by Crysta Peele.

CDCR highlights construction careers

The Specialized Recruitment Unit (SRU) partnered with subject matter experts from Facility Planning, Construction and Management at the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Northern California collegiate career fair. Students traveled from as far as Fresno State and CSU Chico to participate. SRU joined more than 30 vendors to highlight the many construction, capital improvement and project management careers within CDCR. SRU looks forward to many more collaborations such as this for 2023.


A group of incarcerated artists and teachers talk around a table full of art supplies
Photo by Peter Merts

Peer facilitators lead the way in CVSP art program

Photographer Peter Merts was at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) recently to document the work of the Prison Arts Collective (PAC). Peer facilitators are accomplished artists who have successfully completed the PAC Arts Facilitator Training course, based on the university model of art education. These individuals at CVSP are now teaching art to their peers. In his photos, Merts documents a check-in visit from two members of PAC, founder Annie Buckley and mentor teacher Yvette Deas.

At the Capitol

On Jan. 30, the Senate voted 38-0, confirming Matthew Atchley, Associate Director, High Security Missions, Division of Adult Institutions.


Council sets February meetings

The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health will hold two meetings on February 10.

Juvenile Justice Workgroup: 12:45-2:45 p.m.

The Juvenile Justice Workgroup will feature an overview of CCJBH’s 2022 Legislative Report Recommendations and a presentation by RYSE on the R.E.S.T.O.R. program, a youth restorative justice diversion program in Contra Costa County.

Diversion/Reentry Workgroup: 3-5 p.m.

The Diversion/Reentry Workgroup will feature an overview of CCJBH’s 2022 Legislative Report Recommendations and the Council on State Governments (CSG) Justice Center will provide an overview of the recommendations presented in their final report from the CSG Justice Center Mental Health Diversion: Consultation, Technical Assistance and Policy Recommendations Contract.

In the Media

a man in a mask helps two incarcerated men in vests cut sheet metal

Students turn sheet metal into beautiful art at COR

A decorative plant made out of metal, outside a prison administration building.

Students in the Sheet Metal Program at California State Prison Corcoran are using art as a way to beautify the institution.

They are creating colorful plants out of pieces of sheet metal.

These art pieces are replacing water-hungry plants to help with the drought.

People in the class are also learning valuable skills that they can take back into society with them.

Students at Avenal State Prison celebrate job certifications with CALPIA

Four men, two in prison uniforms and two in civilian clothes. The incarcerated men hold diplomas.
Warden Martin Gamboa, left, Walter Brown, Alejandro Guijarro and CALPIA General Manager William Davidson.

A room at Avenal State Prison was filled with excited inmates and their families Thursday as the California Prison Authority (CALPIA) held a graduation ceremony for incarcerated people.

They cheered each other on as they received their certificates — some were being awarded with apprenticeships. The certifications consist of completing 144 hours of instruction and a minimum 8,000 hours of hands-on experience.

“We have poultry, egg production, general fabrication, furniture, laundry and healthcare facility maintenance, in addition we have administrative, warehouse and maintenance and repairs support functions here at Avenal,” said Nicole Collins, assistant general manager of facility operations for CALPIA.

Editorial: Heart of Marin awards honor those who make it better


For three decades, the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership has brought together leaders of Marin’s strong community of nonprofit agencies and their volunteers for an annual Heart of Marin luncheon that is an inspiration.

It reflects a Marin that gets lost in its affluent facade, a collection of community-spirited leaders and volunteers who are driven by their heartfelt desire to make a difference. It showcases the many among us with big hearts intent on helping others, from fellow students to injured animals and from men behind bars at San Quentin to those struggling with prejudices toward their gender identities or economic and racial inequities.

Top Inside CDCR Stories

Pine Grove staff honored as DJJ transitions

Recruiters join Martin Luther King event

18 years later, CIM honors Officer Gonzalez

SATF population donate $16k to community

Podcast focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion