CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: July 28, 2023


CHCF staff with local politicians posing for picture at institution

CHCF hosts ARC graduation

California Health Care Facility (CHCF) recently held its inaugural graduation with community based organization Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). One hundred and fifteen participants successfully completed the 12-week course focusing on topics such as cognitive behavioral change, wellness and parole preparation. 

“ARC has inspired me to stay strong in my journey to grow into the man my family deserves. A pro-social man equipped with the skills to never return to prison unless to help my fellow man,” said J. Najera, ARC graduate.

With over 50 family members in attendance, the day was full of positive energy. ARC empowers formerly and currently incarcerated people to thrive by providing a support network, comprehensive reentry services and opportunities to increase public awareness though advocacy for policy change.

“The heritage of rehabilitation is hope and redemption,” said Anthony Robison, ARC CHCF life coach.

photo of Robert Castaneda

CALPIA Success Story: Robert Castaneda

Robert Castaneda received his optician certification while working for CALPIA’s Optical Lab at California State Prison, Solano. He worked in the program for seven years.

When he returned to his community in 2021, he filed with the State Board of Optometry and started working at Eyeglass World. Robert now works as a licensed Optician at LensCrafters and is thankful for the job training he received while incarcerated.

“CALPIA gave me a foundation that I could use in society. I am a licensed Optician and have been able to buy a home and a car because of the career training I received. I am grateful for CALPIA’s Optical program especially the staff who supported me along the way,” said Castaneda.

Butte MCRP participants standing with staff for a group photo

MCRP Butte attends workshops

Butte Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) participants attended Job Readiness through Alliance for Workforce Development workshops. Here, the participants learned all aspects of employment including:

  • completing job applications
  • searching for employment
  • interviewing
  • and how to budget finances.

Participants participated in mock interviews and received feedback on how they did during the interview process. All the participants enjoyed the workshops and said it was helpful for them.

Staff Spotlight

DAPO Parole Agent Mark Cruise

Meet Mark Cruise, Parole Administrator

As CDCR observed Parole Services Week recently, Parole Administrator Mark Cruise gives us a closer look at the life of parole agents.

Cruise started his career as a Parole Agent in Oakland.

Since then, he promoted to Parole Agent II and III, where he served in management and supervisory roles.

He has worked for two fugitive apprehension teams and managed over 400-plus new parole agents at the Parole Agent Academy.

For the last eight years, Cruise has served as a Parole Administrator for CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO).

Visit Inside CDCR to read the full article.


CDCR recruitment team hosting an event for CTF and SVSP

CDCR Hiring Workshop

The Specialized Recruitment Unit (SRU) hosted a hiring workshop targeting 14 classifications with over 200 vacancies. The recruitment event focused on hiring for Correctional Training Facility (CTF) and Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP). Event participants received:

One-on-one career coaching, access to a mobile computer lab, state application assistance, on-site examinations, an opportunity to interview for CTF and SVSP vacancies, and Livescan completion.

SRU’s hiring workshops and expertise continue to be recognized and sought out by other state agencies.  CDCR is a leader in hiring across the state!

SRU provides hiring solutions for hard to fill positions to CDCR programs and institutions statewide. For assistance with your vacancy needs, connect with a recruiter by visiting CDCR’s Careers web page or via email at

Upward Mobility

Stefanie Keenan has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (OOC) for Folsom State Prison.

Kevin Myers, D.D.S., has been assigned Acting Deputy Director of the Statewide Dental Program.

Rebecca Silbert has been appointed Deputy Superintendent, Higher Education in the Division of Rehabilitative Programs.

David Maldonado has been appointed Deputy Chief of Strategic Communications and External Affairs.

Upward Mobility Program

The Upward Mobility (UM) team hosted a conference call for program participants. During the call, participants explored additional career paths and possibilities beyond the Staff Services Analysts classification.

The UM team lead an information-packed presentation on growth opportunities highlighting Accountant Trainee, Executive Assistant, and Parole Services Associate. The conference call answered questions on minimum qualifications and comparable salaries. The team identified specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that could be used through different types of experience.

UM provides career development guidance and resources to participants looking to promote throughout CDCR. To learn more about UM and to join the Upward Mobility Program, connect with the team via email at

In the Community

CRC food sale fundraiser

California Rehabilitation Center’s (CRC) incarcerated population helped raise over $11,000 through charitable food sales fundraisers among incarcerated people. CRC distributed funds to two local nonprofit organizations, Safe Alternatives for Everyone (Safe) and the Assistance League of Riverside. Each organization received a donation of over $5,500.

Safe Alternatives for Everyone Family Justice Centers of Riverside County is dedicated to victim advocacy and support services. They provide a safe place for victims of abuse to get help.

Assistance League of Riverside serves local youth. They provide clothing, comforting, and education through programs. The programs include students from elementary school through college.

Fine arts staff with CTF staff holding a large check

CTF fundraiser for the Alisal Center for Fine Arts

Correctional Training Facility (CTF) staff partnered with the incarcerated members of the Phoenix Alliance to organize a successful food sale fundraiser. This event was not just about giving back to the community but also supporting a worthy cause. Their collective efforts led to a total of over $7,500.

The proceeds from this charitable effort were donated to the Alisal Center for Fine Arts, specifically benefiting the annual Christmas in the Park event. This event, held in December, provides unforgettable moments for the children who attend.

In addition to gifts, families will be provided with Christmas trees. The event will feature a snow machine, allowing them to experience snow, which is rare for most families in the area.


CCJBH logo

CCJBH’s Full Council Meeting

July 28, 2023, from 2:00-4:30 PM

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.

In the Media

Free prison calls are repairing estranged relationships and aiding rehabilitation

A man wearing headphones looks at a tablet in a prison cell.

This year California became the second state in the nation, and the largest to date, to mandate free calls in state prisons. Because family members bore the cost of the pricey calls, the new law eliminated a longstanding financial burden that forced many low-income people — particularly those of color — to choose between maintaining contact with incarcerated loved ones and putting food on the table.

Without the constant worry that the meter was running, Alvarez’s relationship with brother Anthony Perez, 51, has blossomed in recent months.

They speak several times a week. Rather than rushed conversations, there’s time for laughter and sharing memories. With their regular updates about everyday life and relaxed chats, a deeper bond has emerged.

Visit the LA Times website to read the whole story.

Here’s a look at the transformation of San Quentin State Prison

The goal is to transform San Quentin from a maximum security prison to a one-of-a-kind rehabilitation center. Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan garnered enough legislative support to set aside $380 million for new buildings and training.

“We’re actually learning how to code websites and this is one example of a website I built over the past couple weeks,” said Willie Johnson. He’s been at San Quentin for more than two decades and says learning to code will serve him well.

“What we’re trying to do is learn new skills so we can get out there have a second chance,” said Johnson.

Visit ABC7’s website to read the full story.

San Quentin State Prison to transform into rehabilitation center

San Quentin State Prison will be transformed into a different kind of rehabilitation facility and on Wednesday, the governor’s lead advisor met with the warden, and inmates, about plans to change incarceration at the state’s oldest prison.

“This is the right place to take on this bold vision,” said Darrel Steinberg.

He’s Governor Gavin Newsom’s lead advisor for the San Quentin transformation.

Visit NBC Bay Area’s site to read the full story.

These runners logged miles at San Quentin. Now free, they ran S.F. Marathon

two previously incarcerated individuals posing for photo

The San Quentin Marathon is 105 laps around a quarter-mile track inside the state prison’s walls. The San Francisco Marathon is one lap around the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Both are 26.2 miles, and now Jonathan Chiu has finished both.

“Both of them have their own unique challenges,” said Chiu, who previously served time in San Quentin. He finished the city’s namesake marathon Sunday in 4 hours and 30 minutes, 45 minutes slower than his best-ever time in the prison.

 “There are a few more hills, and the wind is harsher in San Francisco. But the view is definitely better,” he told The Chronicle.

Visit the San Francisco Chronicle to read the full story.

Top Inside CDCR Stories

CIM Facility D partially deactivated

Meet Danielle Bourgeois, DAPO Employee of the Year

CSP-Corcoran hosts Alarm Response Training

Parole agents help incarcerated prepare for reentry

Pretrial, Probation & Parole Supervision Week 2023