CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: July 8, 2022

Staff Resources

Lunch Webinar poster

All CDCR staff have an opportunity to receive some “Lunch Time Learnin’ with David Burden.” In his next session, David Burden will present “Navigating Change” from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. 

Just when you thought there was nothing left to know about change, major world changes occurred and here we are once again – finding tips and strategies to help us navigate a world that seems uncertain at present. 

This one-hour program will help attendees: 

  • Examine common responses to change in the workplace.
  • Describe best practices for navigating change.
  • Identify ways to incorporate each best practice with a current change situation.
  • Summarize how they will use what they’ve learned when navigating change in the future.
  • Learn the recipe for becoming a change navigator!

As a reminder, “Lunch Time Learnin’ with David Burden” will be presented on a biweekly (every other Wednesday) basis, with an emphasis on resiliency, habit development, and unconscious bias, among other topics.

If you are interested in attending this course, please use one of the links below to register:

CDCR/CCHCS: Navigating Change – CDCR/CCHCS

CALPIA: Navigating Change – CalPIA

Please note: In order for the link to work, you must be signed into and have your LMS open.  If you are not signed into your LMS, after selecting the link you may be prompted to log in. Once you log in you will be taken to your LMS dashboard, reselect the link in the flyer/email to be taken to the course, or search the course name from your dashboards search engine located at the top of your LMS.


Incarcerated people in a gym wearing virtual reality headsets

Creative Acts combines virtual reality and reentry

Creative Acts, in partnership with, recently conducted a week-long intensive Virtual Reality (VR) Reentry training program at Valley State Prison (VSP). Creative Acts was able to bring in 20 Oculus VR Headsets, loaded with the daily experiences that many incarcerated people say give them the most stress about returning home. 

Through VR programs, Creative Acts staff address the issues people face when returning to the community after serving lengthy sentences. From checking out at a supermarket to driving a car for a job interview, Creative Acts creates content to simulate real-world scenarios. The program gives practical, emotional, physical and psychological resources for successful reentry. 

In the Media

Incarcerated students now have new path to college degree

Inmates attending college course

The new program at Fresno State is a collaboration between the College of Social Sciences, the Division of Continuing and Global Education and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The new program expands access to higher education among one of the most marginalized populations in the state.

The degree program was accredited on May 5 by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges — an organization that provides accreditation of public and private universities, colleges, secondary and elementary schools in California and Hawaii. Incarcerated students will receive face-to-face coursework from Fresno State instructors.

“Given the demographics of the prison population, we anticipate that the student population will disproportionately consist of first-generation college students, students of color and students from impoverished backgrounds,” said Dr. Scott Moore, dean of the Division of Continuing and Global Education at Fresno State. “Without the engagement of a university like Fresno State, these students would have no access to face-to-face opportunities to earn a bachelor’s degree. The presence of Fresno State at these facilities will help enhance the existing culture of learning that has the power to change lives.”

“The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation believes in the transformational power of education and is committed to providing opportunities for academic growth during incarceration,” said Brant Choate, director of CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs.

CDCR recruiting for trades and education jobs

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will hold a Central Valley Hiring Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, in Bakersfield.

Among job opportunities listed are carpenters, electricians, groundskeepers, locksmiths, maintenance mechanics, painters, plumbers, supervising cooks, water and sewage plant supervisors and case records and educational professions.

Participating institutions include the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi, California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo, and Kern Valley State Prison at Delano and Wasco State Prison.

Same day exams and interviews will be offered for a large range of state job classifications, largely in the trades and education. 

The event will be held at Four Points by Sheraton, 5101 California Ave., Bakersfield.

Get more information and register online.

Read the full story

WATCH: First college on prison campus gains accreditation

This short from PBS NewsHour highlights Mount Tamalpais College, a two-year liberal arts college inside San Quentin State Prison and the first college within a prison to gain accreditation.

Newsom grants clemency in 2 San Diego County cases, 33 across California

Gov. Gavin Newsom granted clemency to 33 individuals Friday, using his executive power to pardon one man and commute the sentence of another who were convicted of crimes in San Diego County.

Newsom granted 17 pardons, 15 commutations and one medical reprieve. Those pardoned included Manuel Vasquez, who was convicted of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for an Oceanside shooting in which he did not pull the trigger, but did give the shooter a ride.

Newsom commuted the sentence of Eric Cowan, who was sentenced to 140 years to life in prison for his role in a prolific San Diego County robbery spree carried out by a four-man crew in the late 1990s.

“The Governor regards clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system,” his office said in a statement. “(Clemency) can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation, increase public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry, correct unjust results in the legal system, and address the health needs of incarcerated people with high medical risks.”

Pardons do not expunge convictions, but restore all civil rights to a person and may be granted after that person has been released from prison and stayed out of trouble. Commuting a sentence reduces that sentence and allows a Parole Board hearing with a staff recommendation for release.

Among others granted clemency Friday was Sara Kruzan, who received a life sentence when she was a teenager for killing her former pimp, a man she said began abusing her when she was 13 years old. She was 16 when she killed him in a Riverside motel room.

Read the full story.

Inside CDCR Top 5

2,904     Guitars hand-painted at Pelican Bay net $11k for children

2,387     Incarcerated team claims Math Bowl trophy over staff

2,074     Every 15 Minutes: Incarcerated firefighters discuss DUI dangers

1,442     Corcoran prison employees award scholarships

1,268     CDCR holds July hiring workshops in Central Valley

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