Governor, DAPO Director thank parole professionals
The week of July 17-23 is recognized as Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week (PPPS Week).
It’s an important opportunity to acknowledge the courage and heroism it takes to live life as a parole agent. I thank all CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operation (DAPO) staff who show an unyielding daily commitment to professionalism, integrity, and strength. Especially in the face of a difficult and often dangerous work environment.
PPPS Week recognizes the incredible work done by community corrections professionals to foster trust and create hope while keeping our communities safe. It’s a time for us to celebrate the efforts of over 100,000 community corrections professionals across the country who supervise close to 6.4 million individuals.
Parole Agent III Cross named Redding Peace Officer of the Year
The Exchange Club of Redding recently recognized Parole Agent III Jennifer Cross as the Redding Peace Officer of the Year.
A 25-year CDCR employee, Cross supervises the Redding Parole Unit. Her experience ranges from correctional officer to counselor and parole agent.
Each year, the club honors one member of each law enforcement agency in Shasta County. Cross received the 2021 award due to her professionalism and positive outlook while continuously putting the needs of others first.
The Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) connects people on parole with community resources to help them succeed. During a recent resource fair, Inside CDCR met people seeking services as well as parole professionals fostering rehabilitation.
One example is Alejandro Hernandez, out of prison for just a week after serving a five-year sentence. He said now he’s trying to turn his life around.
“That’s why I’m here today, to seek help because I need it,” said Hernandez. “I’m trying to better myself for my kids.”
Dial 988 to access 24-hour emotional support and resources
Beginning July 16, 2022, our country transitioned to 988 as the easy-to-remember number to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.
To reach the Lifeline, you can call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. You will be connected to trained counselors who are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors are available 24/7 to listen, understand how a callers problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if needed. One of the benefits of the Lifeline is that you can confidentially ask questions and receive information to help you find the support you need. And numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
Please share this three digit 988 number with peers, colleagues, friends, and family; it may save a life!
*The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.
The links below are provided to assist you with learning more about 988 and accessing crisis line services.
- Call, text, or chat with the Lifeline
- Learn more about the history of 988
- Learn how 988 will affect the Veterans Crisis Line
Take steps to limit energy use
As temperatures rise, it is more important now than ever to be conscious of our energy usage.
CDCR has developed the Flex Alert Response Plan to identify actions institutions will perform during a Flex Alert event. A Flex Alert is issued by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) when the electricity grid is under stress or supplies are limited because of generation or transmission outages. It is a voluntary call for consumers to conserve electricity.
Actions include limiting the use of large electrical equipment, reducing light usage when safe and appropriate to do so, disconnecting small appliances in administrative areas, and shutting off landscape irrigation.
A Flex Alert event may be declared by CAISO from May through October, during the hours of 4-9 p.m., seven days a week.
Even if you don’t work in an institution, there are many actions you can take at home and at work, including:
- Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with LEDs instead of overhead lights.
- Enable “power management” on all computers and turn off when not in use.
- Postpone using heat-producing appliances like the oven, dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer until cooler times of the day to avoid heating up your home.
- Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when full. Wait until after 9 p.m. to use these and other major appliances.
- When possible, wash clothes in cold water. About 90 percent of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
- Turn your water heater down to 120° or the “normal” setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13 percent of home energy costs.
- Turn off any office equipment that is not currently in use. Alternately, look for sleep or power-saving modes in-between uses during the day.
- Keep windows and doors closed to prevent the loss of cooled or heated air.
- Enable power management settings on all computers, so that they go to sleep and turn off screens when not in use.
- Plug electronics such as coffee makers and microwaves into power strips and switch them off when the day is done.
- As you leave the office, get in the habit of checking to make sure computers, printers/copiers, and other office equipment is fully shut down. If possible, switch them off at the power strip to ensure they are no longer draining energy.
- Check window vents to make sure they are clear
Thank you for your steps to conserve energy during the hot season and year-round. As one of the largest State departments, it is vital that all employees be aware of efforts to reduce the demand on California’ electrical grid.
In our Institutions
CCWF applauds hardworking employees
Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) wanted to thank their hardworking staff for all the excellent work they do. CCWF Facility D recently hosted a staff appreciation barbecue with lots of food and laughs.
Warden M. Pallares said, “Our staff are resilient and they are what makes our institution go. I truly appreciate every staff member here at CCWF for their hard work and dedication”
Jimenez-Safir earns professional certification
To become a Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) Paula Jimenez-Safir, Ph. D., CCHP, demonstrated mastery of national standards and the knowledge expected of leaders working in this field. Jimenez-Safir, a Psychologist at California Correctional Institution, joins more than 4,200 correctional health care professionals nationwide who have earned this distinction from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.
CCHP is highly regarded as a symbol of accomplishment and self-improvement, and provides immeasurable benefits. It promotes correctional health care professionals’ knowledge, understanding, and application of standards and guidelines essential to the delivery of appropriate health care in the correctional environment; their role in delivering that care; the basic legal principles underlying their practice; and their ethical obligations.
The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) will hold a Full Council Meeting from 2-4 p.m. July 29. The meeting will be held virtually and will feature a presentation from the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI).
HCAI will give an update on efforts around workforce and behavioral health, followed by a presentation by Dr. Geoff Twitchell and Councilmember Mack Jenkins on criminal justice and behavioral health. The presentation will outline the results of San Diego’s Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Learning Academy and Curriculum for Mental Health Providers Working with the Justice Involved. In addition, CCJBH will present updates on Council staff projects, as time allows.
In the Media
On a sunny Thursday morning, a group of firefighters-in-training run through drills: They wear personal protective gear, unload firefighting tools, hook up hoses to water supplies and break down doors to force their way into buildings.
The thing these trainees have in common? They were all formerly incarcerated.
The training facility is known as the Ventura Training Center, located at 2800 Wright Road outside Camarillo. It is operated through a joint partnership between the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection — better known as Cal Fire — the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Conservation Corps.
Since the center opened in the fall of 2018, more than 100 formerly incarcerated men who completed training there have been hired as professional firefighters, with the vast majority joining Cal Fire, according to Battalion Chief Jeremy Brant, who oversees the center.
Specialist John McMahan, a Military Police Specialist (31B) with the 49th Military Police Brigade is one of many Soldiers in the National Guard who struggles with finding a good civilian job while maintaining a military career. Today is a new day, as 49th Military Police Brigade Senior leaders gave McMahan a new opportunity. On July 16th, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation set up a recruiting event for Soldiers just like McMahan.
Richard Wynne, a Background Investigator with the Department of Corrections for the state of California, led the presentation at the recruiting event at Camp Roberts in the late afternoon of July 16th. Wynne, a former 49th Military Police Brigade Noncommissioned Officer sees the value of his military career and wants more people like himself to join his team. “Less than 7% of veterans are Correctional Peace Officers in the state of California and I am here to fix that.” said Wynne. ”My intent is to increase the number of veterans in the department. Senior leadership in the California Military Department has teamed with us to make it more efficient for Guardsmen to join our team. Normally it takes 15 months to hire a new Correctional Peace Officer but with the advantage of being a California National Guardsmen we can cut that down to 9 months and that starts today with the entrance exam.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is hiring.
The CDCR will be hosting a hiring workshop next Tuesday from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm at Corcoran Technology Learning Center.
There are various positions open at Central California Women’s Facility, California State Prison Corcoran, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, Pleasant Valley State Prison and Valley State Prison.
Those who attend could receive an on-the-spot assessment of their qualifications and, in some cases, take an exam and participate in an interview that same day.
The incarcerated population at Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP), with the assistance of staff, contributed $6,980 to the Robb School Memorial fund by making voluntary donations through their personal trust accounts.
“I gladly approved this charitable effort, which united the population in one inspirational goal,” said PVSP Warden Ron Godwin. “We were all devastated by what took place in Uvalde, and grateful to have the opportunity to make a contribution to those who need it most.”
Each Inmate Advisory Council (IAC – a board comprised of incarcerated representatives) within PVSP turned the opportunity into a friendly competition for which facility could raise the most funds. The institution’s Community Resource Office and Accounting Office worked with incarcerated participants to facilitate donations through their trust accounts.
Columbia College announced July 14 that it was the recipient of a $408,000 state grant to help expand the college’s existing programs for incarcerated students at Sierra Conservation Center state prison near Jamestown.
The grant money comes from a newly established program within California Community Colleges called the Rising Scholars Network.
“Our goal with the Rising Scholars Grant is to help more incarcerated students to complete college certificates and degrees so they can be better prepared to re-enter the community and support themselves and their families once they are released,” Columbia College President Lena Tran said in a news release.