CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: Nov. 10, 2022

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Secretary thanks all Veterans

November 11, 2022, is designated as Veterans Day – a day to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice to uphold the ideals of our great country. I urge each and every CDCR and CCHCS employee to reflect on that service, and extend gratitude to the many people who have served and who continue to serve our state and country.

I am proud that CDCR and CCHCS employ many veterans. I cannot emphasize enough the value veterans bring to our mission no matter their position. Myself and everyone you work with highly admire your professionalism, pride in your work, great teamwork abilities, problem-solving expertise, and discipline.

(Watch a slideshow featuring CDCR, CCHCS, and DJJ veterans.)

It is humbling to know that so many veterans who serve their country choose to continue that spirit of service by joining the Department. You and your loved ones are owed a debt of gratitude too immense to ever be repaid, but please know how much I truly appreciate everything you do. Our public safety and rehabilitation mission could not be fulfilled without you, and the many dedicated family members and loved ones who stand by you.

Please join me in celebrating the many veterans currently employed and retired for their service and sacrifice. On Veterans Day and every day, it is an honor to be your colleague.

With gratitude,
Kathleen Allison
Secretary, CDCR

Military veterans share their experience

Inside CDCR caught up with two veterans to share how their military experience helps them in their CDCR careers. High Desert State Prison PIO Jon Sieberg served in the United States Marine Corps on active duty from 1998 to 2007. Senior Background Investigator Lt. Norma Verduzco served in the United States Army from 1999 to 2008, including two deployments. We thank them both, and all veterans, for their service!

(Read Lt. Sieberg’s story.)

(Read Lt. Norma Verduzco’s story.)

Our Promise

Two women and a man pose in front of an Our Promise backdrop

CDCR, CCHCS Our Promise campaign runs through November 12

On October 19, a CDCR office in Rancho Cordova featured speakers, nonprofit organizations, door prizes and a taco food truck.

Some of those attending included CDCR Undersecretary of Administration Jennifer Barretto, Director Amy Miller with the Division of Correctional Policy Research and Internal Oversight, while San Quentin Lt. Sam Robinson emceed the event.

California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) held an Our Promise event Nov. 1 at the Elk Grove offices. Receiver Clark Kelso and Undersecretary of Health Care Services Diana Toche were in attendance. Again, there were featured speakers, nonprofits, door prizes and a food truck.

Rehabilitation Updates

Correctional education takes center stage

A woman speaks into a microphone while a woman and man watch, in front of an audience.,

The California Community College Foundation recently brought together representatives from each community college currently providing pathways to associate degrees inside CDCR institutions, as well as representatives from California State University Sacramento,  California State University, Los Angeles, Fresno State University, San Diego State University, Pitzer College, and University of California, Irvine for a formal “Convening of Colleges.”

This event was designed to inform and inspire, brainstorm and plan, and listen and learn.  Superintendent Shannon Swain and Supervisor of Correctional Education Programs Dr. Lynne Ruvalcaba presented a session on  the role of technology in higher education within CDCR. Division of Rehabilitative Programs Director Brant Choate and Regional Associate Superintendents Rod Braly and Genevie Candelaria as well as Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Martin Griffin had the opportunity to participate and engage with partners from the various colleges. 

The lunch presentation included two very special guest speakers. CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison and Daisy Gonzales, Interim Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, partnered to share their stories and the important role higher education played in their personal and professional lives.  

In our Institutions

VSP gets in the Halloween spirit

A woman dressed as a genie with children in costumes (Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, Forrest Gump, Princess Jasmine)
The first place costume winner was Correctional Officer Ashlee Pratti

Valley State Prison (VSP) recently held its first Halloween Trunk or Treat event. The event was free to attend and open to all VSP staff to include any friends, relatives, and members of the surrounding communities. The employee association along with the Community Resources Department provided food, candies, a bounce house, and a photo booth for everyone to enjoy. Attendees also had the option to enter costume and/or trunk decorating contests for prizes.

 VSP’s Crisis Response Team (CRT) wowed the crowd as they performed a variety of tactical demonstrations, which included an exciting zombie hostage rescue scenario. Winners for the costume and car decorating contest were announced at the conclusion of the fun-filled night.

 “I am glad we at VSP were able to provide a safe, fun environment for staff and their families to enjoy,” shared Business Service Manager Randy Lindsey. “The CRT show was pretty awesome!”

“Serving and protecting the community is a high priority for us at VSP,” said Correctional Captain Russell Boozer. “Tonight’s Trunk or Treat event provided a different example on how we can do just that.”     

 A special Thanks to all VSP staff who generously donated and participated in the Trunk or Treat event.


A crowd of people listen to two speakers

CDCR’s Specialized Recruitment Unit teamed up with Calipatria State Prison (CAL) and Centinela State Prison (CEN) employees to host a hiring event in El Centro on November 2. There were 220 participants, 48 exams administered, and 28 interviews scheduled. CAL Warden (A) Sean Moore along with Human Resources Deputy Director Jaclyn Padilla kicked off this event with an engaging welcome speech that encouraged participants and got them excited to join team CDCR!

This event targeted critical vacancy needs for the area institutions by educating participants on career opportunities, assisting with CalCareers account and state application (STD. 678) creation, administering examinations, providing interview tools for successful candidates, and scheduling next day interviews. Overall the event was a great success!


The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Juvenile Justice Workgroup will meet virtually from 12:45-2:45 p.m. Friday, November 18.

At the Juvenile Justice Workgroup, CCJBH will provide an update on the Juvenile Justice Compendium and Toolkit contract with the RAND Corporation. CCJBH will provide an overview of the 2022 Annual Legislative Report findings and recommendations related to the juvenile justice system in California.

The CCJBH Diversion and Reentry Workgroup meets virtually from 2-5 p.m. Friday, November 18. CCJBH will provide an overview of the 2022 Annual Legislative Report findings and recommendations related to Diversion and Reentry in California.

In the Media

A man in grey tank and shorts runs on the track at a prison yard.

Meet top NYC marathoner Markelle Taylor

On Sunday, Markelle “The Gazelle” Taylor will be at the New York City Marathon starting line on Staten Island.

The 50-year-old Bay Area man, who ran this year’s Boston Marathon in a blistering 2 hours and 52 minutes, isn’t going for a personal record. Instead, he will be running just over an 8-minute mile, as a pacer for CBS producer Elissa Candiotti, who did a story on him.

Taylor is nursing a sore knee from running the Chicago Marathon last month, but he isn’t backing out. “I am a man of my word,” he told The Post.

Reliability and accountability were values Taylor internalized as a member of the 1,000 Mile Club at San Quentin State Prison in California, when he was serving 15 years to life until being released in 2019.

“People in the running club, they listen to you. What your fears are. It was therapy,” he said. The unorthodox running club is the subject of a powerful new documentary “26.2 to Life: The San Quentin Prison Marathon.“

Top Inside CDCR Stories for the Week

In uniform, Lopez represents at Peace Officer Memorial Run

Wasco prison celebrates staff, veterans, rehabilitation

Prison Paws at Pelican Bay give dogs second chance

Trunk-or-Treat resurrected at SAC, Folsom

Operation Boo: Parole agents keep families safe

Social Media

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