‘Guardians of the Flame’ hit the road for Special Olympics
CDCR employees started their Monday morning with a four-mile run to the California State Capitol for a great cause! They joined others from law enforcement agencies throughout Northern California to participate in the 25th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) The run benefit Special Olympics Northern California.
CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison spoke at the event, highlighting the Department’s commitment to supporting Special Olympics.
“It was so inspiring to see all the athletes from all the various law enforcement agencies come together, and of course the wonderful speakers,” Allison said. “Everybody comes here with a pure heart to do the right thing, and I’m really excited to be part of it.
CDCR teams have raised over $26,700 this year! It’s not too late to help that number grow – visit the LETR website to make a donation.
Awards and Recognition
Several CDCR and CCHCS employees were honored at the California Public Sector CIO Academy 2022.
The academy is intended to foster discussion and dialogue on what it means to be a successful IT executive in the public sector and to provide tools and strategies to assist current and emerging leaders. This event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for government and industry to collaborate and address the most important policy, management and leadership issues surrounding the future of digital government.
CDCR/CCHCS awardees include:
Tammy Cason, Business Information System Manager: As part of CDCR’s efforts to be more transparent with staff allegations and their dispositions, Cason led a top-priority IT project to understand the ever-changing business requirements, develop and test the functionality, and train and deploy a new system to hundreds of new users, all within six months. Her experience and drive, along with her and her team’s exhaustive dedication, brought this important project in on time and within budget.
Bruce Henry, SAP/Business Information System Infrastructure and Data Manager: Primarily driven by COVID-19 urgent needs, Henry led his team to stand up 21 new interfaces/data exchanges to bring various outside COVID-19 vendor test results into staff health records; push HR, vaccination, and test data to CDCR’s analytic and reporting groups; push test and vaccination data to the state’s systems; and pull vaccination data from the state’s system. Henry also led his team to significant and numerous SAP/BIS system upgrades of hardware and software during this same time. The team’s efforts have dramatically contributed to CDCR’s ability to operate and track COVID-related business processes, all while increasing the usability of the system.
Jon Wegsteen, Project Lead: To address security concerns, subpoena and auditing requests, multi-factor authentication, support issues, and meet the demand of the current business requirements, the LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System) user interface was refactored using Progressive Web Application. This effort provided the first beta version in October 2021, with the intent of a full deployment for all users in March 2022. This work was the first significant change in LEADS since it was released on March 1, 1997. LEADS provides local law enforcement agencies with current information about parolees being supervised by CDCR.
Kevin Baroni, Middle Tier Project Lead: The EIS-Middle Tier is a CDCR-built and -supported API platform representing the backbone of the next generation of applications currently in development at CDCR. This new API platform can support all application development efforts and provide the lowest cost and fastest time to market for implementation of certain products that use existing departmental application data. The project leverages identity management, multifactor authentication, and is connected to monitoring, providing an audit trail. The project supports DevOps Services and agile project management and development automation processes.
Lak Ramakrishnan, Information Technology Manager I: Ramakrishnan led the effort to upgrade CDCR’s mission-critical legacy reporting sub-systems to improve security, availability, and performance, and provide modern analytics experience for about 11,000 users. This project involved a complete overhaul of hardware, networking and software components and was completed on time and within budget. The transition to the new system was seamless and did not cause any program interruption.
Rohit Chaurasia, IT Specialist III: The COVID-19 pandemic affected the prison system disproportionately, as the congregate setting puts the population and employees at greater risk of contracting and spreading the virus. COVID-19 vaccines have been a critical tool to reduce illnesses, prevent future outbreaks, and save lives. Chaurasia, a certified project manager, was selected to lead the project to vaccinate staff and incarcerated people because of his exemplary leadership skills and ability to manage complex, large-scale projects. He led CCHCS’ COVID-19 task force vaccination committee and created plans for receiving, distributing and administering vaccines at 35 adult prisons, five youth correctional facilities, and 13 reentry facilities.
Runora Francesconi, Information Technology Manager I, Electronic Health Record System (EHRS) Operations Manager: Francesconi is the Operations Manager for EHRS for CCHCS. She led the implementation of the JAWS EHRS Digital Aide, which allows visually impaired users to complete workflows in EHRS without human assistance. The Digital Aide helps CCHCS maintain a qualified workforce and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. She also led the implementation of Patient Letter, Cross Encounter Reconciliation, Psychiatry Summary and Suicide Rounding MPages. These solutions save time, reduce user error and the number of keystrokes needed to document care, and allow health care providers to focus more time on patient care.
National PTSD Awareness Day
CDCR is highlighting National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day on June 27
Many people incarcerated in prisons are also trauma survivors. The impacts of trauma can influence an incarcerated person’s ability to heal and rehabilitate.
CDCR has recognized some ways we communicate and discipline may not be as effective with trauma victims, particularly women and those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To aid its efforts, CDCR hired Dr. Stephanie Covington, Co-Director of the Center for Gender & Justice, and a consultant and program provider for more than 20 years. Dr. Covington said dealing with trauma is a key step of rehabilitation.
“Trauma impacts thinking, feeling, and behavior,” Covington said. “It has a huge impact on how people in the criminal justice system react and handle stressors.”
CDCR is offering trauma-informed training and programs as a result. There is recognition that tactics such as restraints, isolation, pat and cavity searches can negatively trigger some incarcerated people. In addition, CDCR has recognized there is a link between substance use disorders and trauma. As a result, it incorporated trauma work into its Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment.
More than 5,000 men and 4,000 women have participated in research on gender-responsive programs, Healing Trauma and Exploring Trauma.
CTF commemorates Juneteenth on Facility B
The population on Facility B at Correctional Training Facility (CTF) recently held their inaugural Juneteenth event. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.
The CTF event was held to commemorate African American freedom and to emphasize education and achievement. The event was filled with guest speakers, poets, dancers and live performances by the Facility B Band.
“This is the type of community being cultivated at CTF,” said Facility B Captain J. Ortega. “The incarcerated men, regardless of race and ethnicity, coming together to celebrate this holiday event.”
In Our Institutions
ASP food sales show big returns for local charities
The ASP population gave back to local communities in a big way through food sales. All six facilities combined raised $8,874 for five worthy nonprofit organizations throughout the valley. With food sales from restaurants including Boston Pizza and KFC, the population raised money for the Central California Family Crisis Organization, Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County, Kings County Action Organization, Lemoore Youth Soccer League, and Veterans Transition Support.