Week in Review

CDCR Week in Review: January 13, 2023

What’s New?

Collage of correctional officers and parole agents at work

Secretary thanks all peace officers

January 9, 2023, was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Secretary Jeff Macomber shared his gratitude for CDCR’s outstanding peace officers in a message to all staff:

Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a day to recognize and honor the important, lifesaving work peace officers do with no expectation of public recognition. While we should honor them every day, today let’s take the time to share our gratitude.

The peace officers who honorably serve this department and the state of California are dedicated to public safety, correctional excellence, and service to community. You are leaders and role models both in our institutions and in your communities, and I am proud to work with you.

Thank you for making the decision to serve. It is an honorable career choice, but one that came with many sacrifices, both from yourself and your families. They, too, should be honored.

If you are not a peace officer, please take the time to thank those you work alongside. We could not do this important work without their service.

Governor unveils proposed 2023-24 budget

Governor Gavin Newsom this week presented the proposed 2023-24 State Budget, which maintains the state’s investments in all Californians while preparing to face economic uncertainties. The proposed $14.5 billion California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reflects an increase of $486 million from last year, a testament to this administration’s commitment to public safety and rehabilitation.

The detailed proposed CDCR budget can be found online. Highlights specific to CDCR include:

  • An ongoing reduction of 2,288 positions and $417.3 million from the general fund related to the upcoming closures of California City Correctional Facility and Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, and planned deactivations at other institutions.
  • $87.7 million to deploy audio/visual surveillance systems to the remaining institutions that do not yet have them. The budget also includes $9.6 million to continue improving the department’s process for reporting and investigating allegations of staff misconduct.
  • $30.7 million for free voice communications for all incarcerated persons
  • $26.8 million for increased Inmate Welfare Fund Authority to maintain sufficient canteen supplies.
  • $3.9 million for the Statewide Mental Health Program, including enhancing support for institutional suicide prevention coordinators.
  • $2.3 million to process increased requests for transfers of eligible people on parole supervision to counties other than their county of commitment pursuant to Senate Bill 990.
  • $2.2 million to deliver gender-affirming care to transgender, non-binary, and intersex incarcerated people.
  • $1.1 million to provide emergency in-person contact visits and video visits when an incarcerated person is hospitalized due to a serious or critical medical condition.

CDCR submits regulations for the transfer of condemned incarcerated people

CDCR this week filed proposed regulations to the Office of Administrative Law to make the Condemned Inmate Transfer Program (CITP) permanent.

CDCR implemented a two-year pilot program from Jan. 29, 2020, through Jan. 29, 2022 pursuant to Proposition 66, to test and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 66, which amended California’s Penal Code to require death-sentenced people to work so they can pay restitution to their victims. Proposition 66 also increased the restitution deduction for people sentenced to death from 50 to 70 percent. Under the pilot program, 101 death-sentenced people previously housed at San Quentin State Prison (SQ) were transferred to designated institutions and 10 death-sentenced people at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) were transferred to alternate housing units at the prison.

In addition to making the CITP permanent, the proposed regulations will make transfers of condemned incarcerated people mandatory. Transfers of death-sentenced individuals to other prisons allows CDCR to phase out the practice of segregating people on death row based solely on their sentence. This is consistent with CDCR’s move toward a behavior-based system where incarcerated people are housed according to their individual case factors, behavior and other needs. No one will be re-sentenced as a result of these housing moves, and everyone will be housed according to their individual case factors in appropriate custody-level prisons.


Staff Resources

Statewide employee communications listserv

GovOps is excited to share the launch of a new tool to communicate with all state employees. The Statewide Employee Communications (SEC) listserv will be used to send timely information to State employees about emergencies, workforce development, fiscal or payroll notices, and other content focused on their work and contributions as State employees.

These emails will come from NewsforStateEmployees@state.ca.gov. CDCR employees received an email over the weekend sharing safety tips and information about the severe storms in the state.  

Messages sent on listserv will be developed and approved by authorized senders only, which include the Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Under specific approved protocols, messages will contain information relevant to urgent communications during emergencies or to your work as State employees.  Please note that statewide emails are not phishing attempts, and staff should not flag them as spam or junk mail. 


Upward Mobility

Kim Thornton has been appointed as Chief Deputy Warden, High Desert State Prison


Parole Operations

A group of people stand in front of desks
Eric Ramirez, left, Jose Delgado, Marci Powers, Encarnacion Tantoco, AJay Keum, Office Technician Roberta Zazueta and PSA Richard Belleza

Meet the Behavioral Health Reintegration team

The Behavioral Health Reintegration (BHR) program, formerly known as the Parole Outpatient Client (POC), is a team of clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and support staff. These Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) employees are well-versed in forensics, trauma-informed practice and whole-person care. Their expertise enables them to provide relevant and impactful clinical services to the parole population. 

POC was established in the 1950s to ensure individuals on parole with mental health issues were provided immediate and accessible care. Although policies have changed over the decades so that parole clients can now obtain county services, BHR has remained a consistent and readily available resource for those in need. This model of “embedded behavioral health” enables clinicians to work collaboratively with parole agents to support the successful community reintegration of parole clients into community.

Immediately upon intake, BHR clinicians initiate links between parole clients and the long-term community resources they need, and then remain available as a resource to help to support and sustain those linkages. BHR services are not restricted to individuals on parole who have had documented mental health concerns, but are available to anyone for whom supportive services will further support their successful community reintegration.


In the Media

Sergeant Escobar highlights recruitment on Fox 40

Two men stand in front of a screen where a woman in uniform is being interviewed via video.

January 9 was National Law Enforcement Day and Studio 40 has Sergeant Bertha Escobar from CDCR to visit and inform about CDCR. CDCR is hiring every year with a large array of benefits.

Read more.

Teaching ethics at San Quentin

When I tell people that I taught a college course on ethics at San Quentin Prison, they pause, waiting for the punch line.

There is none.

My curriculum was standard fare: Socrates and Plato, Kantian and utilitarian ethics, social contract theory, virtue ethics, and contemporary issues. The students were not standard fare; all were convicted felons, about half of them in for murder. Their ages ranged from mid-thirties to seventy.

One might expect that in a class of convicts, their crimes would constitute the elephant in the room. Not so. Most were forthcoming — sooner or later-and they emphasized two things: they had done terrible things that hurt people, and they were responsible for what they had done. The phrase “bad choices” was a mantra in their self-revelations. Read more.


Top Inside CDCR Stories

Unlocking History: Peculiar case of the Perfumed Burglar

Chaplain McLachlan presents art to Vatican

49ers visit San Quentin to Inspire Change

Ironwood prison hosts inspirational event

26 graduate Offender Mentor Certification


Social Media

Social media graphic