After nearly 80 years, this month Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) transferred from the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to CDCR’s Division of Adult Institutions. The transfer is part of the realignment of juvenile justice treatment and rehabilitative services to counties. The process will be complete this summer when DJJs remaining two facilities in Stockton and Ventura close.
The legislation that created juvenile realignment also stipulates that Pine Grove remain open to train justice-involved youth as wildland firefighters.
As part of the transition, DJJ staff at Pine Grove were honored for their contributions in ceremonies held earlier this month.
As part of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs’ (DRP) strategic plan to develop high-quality supervisors and leaders, DRP has implemented a training academy for Staff Services Manager Is. The first session was held recently and will consist of 12 in-person daylong sessions over the course of the year.
Session topics include, but are not limited to: Crucial Conversations, Emotional Intelligence, Fostering a Team Environment, and Leadership. The training is facilitated by Rod Braly, Regional Associate Superintendent, Office of Correctional Education.
CCI grads step forward as mentors
California Correctional Institution was honored to hold the institution’s first ever Offender Mentor Certification Program (OMCP) graduation. Tears of joy flowed from staff, graduates, and attendees, as 17 incarcerated individuals received certificates of completion in the intensive course.
OMCP provides participants the training and education needed to become Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counselors. Upon graduating from the OMCP, these OMCP mentors are assigned and paid as co-facilitators in Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (CBI) programs throughout all adult institutions.
Correctional Counselor (CC) III David Carter and CCII Rodney Michael head up this rehabilitative program at CCI. They persevered and continued to find new ways to accomplish the training. Challenges included the COVID-19 pandemic which delayed CCI’s first ever OMCP cohort six months from the anticipated 12 months completion time.
OMCP graduate Anthony Antilia described the many setbacks and journey to completion as a “white knuckle, off-road, four-wheeling adventure.”
CCI’s class had 100 percent of the participants pass the final exam, highlighting the hard work, effort, and dedication of the staff and students alike.
Willie “Anthony” Dobie III has been assigned as Chief of the Office of Policy Standardization, Division of Adult Institutions.
In the Media
Agata Popęda here to share perhaps the most important story I’ve written for the Weekly so far. Over the last few months, I devoted my Thursday afternoons to weekly trips to the Correctional Training Facility, a state prison located 5 miles north of Soledad.
Two hours per week in a state prison is an eye-opening adventure. Like every direct experience, it involves your whole body in a fast-paced process of learning. In this case I found myself learning the obvious but rarely kept in mind: Incarcerated people are very much like everybody else, and—to an extent—it’s our luck in life that is keeping us, so far, on the other side of the bars.
A Connecticut-based nonprofit is partnering with two Chowchilla prisons to provide books to incarcerated people.
Mobile libraries were installed by Freedom Reads at both Valley State Prison and Central California Women’s Facility, providing 500 books to each campus.
Books will be distributed via mini, portable libraries in Valley State Prison’s 17 housing units. The Women’s Facility will open up libraries in five of its housing units.