CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: July 21, 2023

Pretrial, Probation & Parole Supervision Week 2023

group of parole agents standing together

DAPO Director applauds parole professionals

As we celebrate Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week 2023, we recognize the dedication and heroism displayed by DAPO professionals. With unwavering commitment to professionalism, integrity, and strength, they navigate a challenging and often hazardous work environment.

Developing long-term sustainable gains and fostering community partnerships, DAPO staff act as agents and advocates, engaging in family systems to create a positive impact.

During Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week 2023 (PPPS Week), we honor the unwavering efforts of all community corrections professionals across the nation. Their tireless work builds trust and instills hope within our communities. Within DAPO, we play a vital role in driving significant positive changes. We do this through tailored supervision and services catering to the unique needs of individuals.

Visit Inside CDCR to read the full article.

two parole agents standing for a picture

Parole agents help prepare people for reentry

Parole Agents Eddy Yee and Mark Ebuen recently spoke to long-term incarcerated people at CSP-Sacramento to help prepare them for reentry.

When long-term incarcerated individuals prepare for reentry into their communities, being proactive is key.

San Francisco Division of Adult Parole (DAPO) Agents Yee and Ebuen work toward this reentry effort, helping long-term incarcerated people learn about what to expect when navigating community reintegration challenges.

At CSP-Sacramento, they discussed the importance of taking advantage of CDCR resources, such as assistance with housing plans, job preparation, and employment.

Visit Inside CDCR to read the full article.

What’s New?

Screenshot of data dashboard

CDCR unveils comprehensive institution data dashboard

CDCR has released a new data dashboard providing detailed information about California’s state prisons. The dashboard provides current and historical data for all prisons in one environment.

View the SB 601 Dashboard on the CDCR website.

Senate Bill (SB) 601 was signed into law in 2015. This bill requires the department to publish a quarterly report outlining each institution’s budget, expenditures, security level, rehabilitative programs, staff vacancies, overtime/sick leave use, and the number of use-of-force incidents, among other data points. Data is compiled from several sources, including the law enforcement data tool COMPSTAT.

Since the bill was signed, CDCR’s Office of Research has produced these quarterly reports in PDF form, and published them online. Since the SB601 data dashboard contains historical data going back three fiscal years (pursuant to statute), the PDF reporting format is no longer needed and will be removed.

“Instead of having to sort through individual reports, this data dashboard allows end-users to quickly and efficiently access current and historical COMPSTAT indicators for all California State prisons in one environment,” said Amber Lozano, Chief Risk Officer (A) for the Office of Research. “In addition to providing a quality resource for CDCR’s stakeholders, the new dashboard provides filtering options and line charts to identify trends and patterns.”

Data from fiscal years 2019-20 through present are available now. The dashboard will be updated quarterly.

CDCR Unlocked

CDCR Unlocked

EIS, HR team up for Human Resources Technology Success

As CDCR continues to implement and educate employees about the Human Resources Technology Success (HRTS) program, two key members of the project team stopped by CDCR Unlocked to share how the effort is going. Danyal Noel, Deputy Director, Human Resources, and Julie Baxter, Staff Services Manager III for Enterprise Information Services (EIS), share how HRTS is helping CDCR streamline its recruitment and onboarding processes using cutting-edge technology.

Listen to the latest episode of CDCR Unlocked.


Nelson Mandela International Day

Mandela Day GARE logo

Nelson Mandela International Day (also known as Mandela Day) is observed July 18. The holiday honors the former South African president’s contributions to the culture of peace and freedom. It is a reminder to follow his guidance, make a difference in your community, and inspire change. It honors Mandela’s values and dedication to the service of humanity in:

  • conflict resolution
  • advocating for race relations
  • human rights
  • reconciliation
  • gender equality
  • fighting poverty
  • and the promotion of social justice.

Mandela dedicated 67 years of his life to serving humanity. A human rights lawyer and political activist, he led the Defiance Campaign. This campaign fought unjust laws and the African National Congress’ armed movement, fighting oppression in South Africa.

In 1994, Mandela voted for the first time in South Africa’s first multiracial election. He became the first democratically elected President of South Africa. True to his word, he served only one term but continued his devotion to equality and democracy. In 2009, the UN proclaimed July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day to honor his life and work. Mandela died at home in 2013 at the age of 95.

Submitted by GARE Ambassador Brianna Carter.

To encourage employees to expand their knowledge and gain new experiences, CDCR/CCHCS GARE Ambassadors are sharing celebrations throughout the year.  To learn more about the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, visit the GARE website.


two incarcerated individuals interviewing a woman
Photo by Peter Merts

San Quentin hosts creative writing event

San Quentin State Prison recently hosted the first creative writing class reading event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photographer Peter Merts was there to document the well-attended event.

Students in the creative writing class at San Quentin shared readings. Led by instructor is Zoe Mullery, the class is part of Arts in Corrections , is funded by CDCR and administered by the California Arts Council.

SVSP hosts DEFY graduation

SVSP graduates throwing caps in the air

Defy Ventures graduated its first cohort of entrepreneurs-in-training (EITs) at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP). Twenty-five EITs earned the Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. The all-day event featured a three-round Shark Tank business pitch competition and cap and gown graduation ceremony. 

The program, “CEO of Your New Life,” is a robust nine-month personal development, career readiness, and entrepreneurship-training program.  

Defy Ventures is a national nonprofit with a vision to reduce recidivism by leveraging entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunity and transform lives. Defy’s programs are helping current and formerly incarcerated people across the country defy the odds. They provide pathways to employment, entrepreneurship, and successful reentry.

Upward Mobility

Szandra Keszthelyi has been appointed Assistant Deputy Director, Human Resources (HR).

In the Community

PVSP staff with campers holding donation check

PVSP population sponsors Coalinga campers

Coalinga children will attend summer camp in Cambria this year thanks to people incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP). The population raised enough money to donate to the youth for summer camp.

Camp Yeager was unable to run for the last two years. This year, with the camp finally open for business, there was a large group of eager applicants. The Community Resource Team at PVSP was able to review applications and sponsor a great group of deserving children.  All who applied were sent to camp.

In prior years, the grant applications have been for 20-30 children each year. The selected children will be able to attend camp free of charge and enjoy an experience they would not have been able to do otherwise.

CTF and middle school staff holding big check together

CTF supports local school

Correctional Training Facility’s (CTF) staff and incarcerated people organized a food sale fundraiser for John Gutierrez Middle School in Salinas. The fundraiser collected over $7,500. This initiative aims to directly contribute to the school’s numerous sports and afterschool programs. The donation will provide financial support for essential resources such as new equipment, supplies, and transportation.

CTF is committed to investing in the future of local youth. Staff and incarcerated people at CTF recognize the importance of extracurricular activities in the development and well-being of young students. These programs play a vital role in nurturing physical fitness, teamwork, discipline, and personal growth. These factors all contribute to their overall educational experience.

“These events establish positive engagement between incarcerated individuals and the broader community. By organizing and participating in these events, the incarcerated population demonstrate their commitment to giving back and making meaningful contributions to society,” said V. Baldwin, Correctional Counselor II.


CCJBH logo

CCJBH Full Council Meeting

July 28, 2023, from 2-4:30 p.m.

1515 K St. Suite 550, Sacramento, CA 95814

The meeting will feature a presentation by the California Health and Human Services Agency; Riverside University Health System, Behavioral Health; and Sutter Health Mental Health & Addiction Care on State and local efforts and strategies to prepare for the upcoming implementation of the CARE Act. CCJBH Councilmembers will also continue their discussion on the remaining CCJBH Mental Health Services Funding.

View the full agenda on CCJBH’s webpage.

In the Media

A smiling incarcerated firefighter in an orange uniform.

‘They got a lot of heart’: Cal Fire gets help from incarcerated to fight wildfires

There are nearly 8,000 Cal Fire firefighters across the state of California expected to perform up to the organization’s expectations at a moment’s notice.

For more than 50 years, crews have gotten help from those who have felt the burn because of their past mistakes.

Lawrence Piper and Michael Williams are two of 1,600 incarcerated people looking to right a wrong by working as incarcerated firefighters.

“I made a bad decision,” said Lawrence Piper, who is serving five years for vehicle theft with a prior related conviction and evading a police officer. “I ran from police. I made a bad decision. I didn’t pull over when I should have so that’s why I’m here. Alcoholism got me here.”

“I’m very thankful to be here,” added Michael Williams, who is in for burglary.

Visit KCRA’s website for the full story.

image of incarcerated persons leg with CDCR on it

Incarcerated firefighters ‘unseen heroes’ on the frontlines battling California wildfires

CAL FIRE crews have been working around the clock to contain the Rabbit Fire since it ignited in Riverside County on Friday.

Among those on the frontlines battling the blaze are people incarcerated with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or CDCR.

“They’re the unseen heroes of the firefighter actions in the state,” said CDCR Correctional Lt. Brian Sloat.

Sloat said there are about 1,800 CDCR fire crew members working with local, state and federal agencies to respond to emergencies like the Rabbit Fire.

Visit ABC7’s website to read the full article.

Incarcerated firefighters train for re-entry into society

Washington Ridge Camp is one of the many conservation camps across the state of California that allows incarcerated people to become firefighters that you see along the lines during “fire season”. It’s a program that continues to grow and is one that proponents say is one of the most effective prison reform programs the state has to offer.

Visit KOVR’s website to watch the video.

Incarcerated firefighters prepare for California wildfire season

Only on CBS13, we get an inside look at a correctional camp in Nevada County, where incarcerated firefighters are getting ready for wildfire season.

Visit CBS13’s website to watch the video.

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