CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: November 9, 2023


American flag on blue background

What’s New?

inmate locator has a new look

Inmate Locator has a new look – introducing CIRIS

CDCR’s inmate locator has a new look and a new name. The new California Incarcerated Records and Information Search (CIRIS) has all the features of the previous locator, with the new ability to view incarcerated individuals’ counties of commitment, and to sort results by age range.

Adding the counties where incarcerated people were sentenced will allow the more than 17,000 people who access CIRIS each day to make searching easier and provide more information about incarcerated people.

The following information is available using CIRIS to search for a person in custody at a CDCR institution:

  • Name
  • Age
  • CDCR number
  • Current location
  • Date of admission to CDCR
  • County or counties of commitment
  • Parole eligible date (month and year)
  • Board of Parole Hearings actions (if applicable)

Please note: CIRIS is intended only to find the above information about currently incarcerated people. To make a request for CDCR documents releasable under the Public Records Act (PRA), please visit the PRA Portal.

In the Community

PBSP dog program group photo

PBSP graduates help find dogs forever homes

Pelican Bay State Prison’s (PBSP) Prison Paws Partnership (PPP) graduated their sixth-round training with eight rescued canines. The dogs came from the local animal shelter. The canines learned obedience and socialization skills, allowing them to be given a second chance at adoption.

PPP is a collaboration between PBSP and the Humane Society of Del Norte (HSDN). All eight canines graduated and found forever homes. To date, the Prison Paws Partnership has found homes for the 32 canines.

California Model

Tattoo Removal Program erases signs of the past

Incarcerated people statewide have the opportunity to have highly visible tattoos removed at no charge. These tattoos not only present a barrier to future employment, they also often symbolize a lifestyle that person has left behind.

TV Specialist Dave Novick visited Folsom State Prison recently where he met Jordan, who was preparing to start his tattoo removal session. Jordan graciously allowed Novick to film the process.

More and more people are having their tattoos removed through a CDCR contract with Ink Doctors, which facilitates mobile tattoo removal services at all CDCR institutions. Those receiving treatment watch a short educational video, apply ice to the area to be treated, then receive treatment.

The Tattoo Removal Program is in line with CDCR’s mission to facilitate the successful reintegration of people back to their communities after incarceration, equipped with the tools to be drug-free, healthy, and employable members of society. It also illustrates a foundational pillar of the California Model – creating more normal prison environments that resemble life in the community to help people prepare for smoother transitions to community. Letting go of a highly visible symbol of one’s past is a major step forward to a more peaceful, positive future.

SAC townhall meeting to inform incarcerated

SAC gathers input at town hall meeting

California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC) hosted a voluntary town hall meeting led by Associate Warden C. Andes. The meeting provided an opportunity for the incarcerated population to discuss and learn about the California Model.

Leadership from SAC’s mental health and community resource teams spoke, answered questions, and received input from the population. Phil Melendez from Smart Justice attended as a guest speaker. He shared his story and the collaborative efforts going into the CA Model.


DRP celebrates Dia De Los Muertos

CCTRP celebrates Día de los Muertos

Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program, Sacramento (CCTRP-Sacramento) participants celebrated Dia De Los Muertos. The holiday honors and remembers lost friends and loved ones. 

Participants created an elaborate altar dawned with photographs of their lost loved ones. Chef Blanca helped put the entire event together. She assisted in making pastries and shared the customs of her Mexican culture, explaining the importance of the “Day of the Dead.” 

Participants conducted research on the history of the day, shared stories of lost loved ones, painted their faces, listened to cultural music, and enjoyed traditional foods of the holiday.


Four incarcerated graduates receive Associates Degrees in Fire Science Technology

Four High Desert State Prison (HDSP) incarcerated firefighters received fire science associate degrees at the institution.:

HDSP fire house incarcerated graduate
  • Robert Lapthorne
  • Rocky Phizom
  • Jose Hernandez
  • and Jian Saeteurn.

These degrees come from a correspondence program associated through Lassen Community College (LCC).

All four graduates are currently assigned to the HDSP fire house. There, they receive training and respond to vegetation, structure fires and medical aids.

“You should be proud of yourselves for achieving goals that not everyone can do. You have made the choice to better your life by showing determination, resilience, and commitment to educational journeys,” said D. Stalter, HDSP Associate Warden.


OVSRS staff speak on group panel

OVSRS attends Northern Regional Information Conference

The California Victim Compensation Board (Cal VCB) hosted the Northern Regional Information Conference in Sacramento. CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) attended the daylong event. Speakers on the panel included:

  • Katie James, OVSRS Chief
  • Lynda Gledhill, California Victim Compensation Board Executive Director
  • Johana Millan, Office of the Attorney General’s Victim Services Unit
  • Elizabeth Hall, Secretary of State Safe at Home Program
  • and Becky Monroe, California Civil Rights Department Executive Director of External Affairs.  

The event hosted various nonprofit groups and county staff members who work with crime victims throughout California. This panel is part of the State Agencies that Service Victims Council. They updated conference participants on new services that have come from this partnership.  

Health Care

Dr. Shahab Banayan, LAC’s Employee of the Month

California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC)’s health care executive team recognized Dr. Shahab Banayan, Physician and Surgeon, as Employee of the Month for November 2023.

LAC health care employee of the month

Dr. Banayan’s unwavering dedication to patient care sets him apart as an exemplary physician. He creates a compassionate environment where patients feel heard, understood, and cared for. He takes the time to listen to his patients, educate them about their conditions, and offer comprehensive treatment plans.

Dr. Banayan collaborates seamlessly with nurses, technicians, and administrative staff. He is always willing to lend a helping hand or offer expert advice. He is often the last to leave, ensuring that all tasks are completed with utmost precision and care.

His actions elevate the standard of care for his patients and serves as a benchmark for medical professionalism within our institution.

In the Media

California prison guards are dying too young. How Norway (yes, Norway) can help

Correctional officers inside a prison grocery store.

Inside Halden Fengsel, a high-security prison in Norway, inmates choose their own clothing. Knockoff track suits from designer brands such as Karl Lagerfeld are favored.

They buy fresh produce from their well-stocked grocery store and chop onions with knives from their shared kitchens.

They play in bands and walk in the woods and pray in a graceful holy room where clerestory windows beam sunlight down onto slate floors and a compass shows the direction of Mecca.

But what surprised California corrections officer Steve “Bull” Durham most on a recent visit to Halden wasn’t the prisoners but the guards — how relaxed and happy his Norwegian counterparts were, and how casually they interacted with the inmates.

“I am blown away by it,” he said.

Visit the LA Times website to read the whole column.

basketball game at SQ

Basketball game at San Quentin showcases prison’s reforms

History was made at California’s oldest prison Friday.

For the first time at San Quentin, the correctional officers played the prisoners in a game of basketball. The game was titled “Bridge the Gap.”

It’s part of a larger change coming to San Quentin.

It was once a full maximum security prison but will be transformed into more of a rehab facility. The goal is to promote positive interactions between the residents and staff.

Visit NBC Bay Area’s website to read the full article.

Former SQ incarcerated training for marathon

His first marathon was in prison. His second will be in New York City

Rahsaan Thomas still remembers immense leg cramps the day he completed his first marathon in 2017. On a cold Friday morning in November, he tied up a pair of donated white-and-grey Nikes and pounded around a quarter-mile loop of gravel, dirt, and concrete in a yard surrounded by barbed wire fences at San Quentin State Prison, a maximum-security facility 25 miles north of San Francisco, California.

Thomas grew up in Brownsville, in east Brooklyn, one of New York City’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods. He was 29 when he was arrested after he fatally shot someone and injured another during a drug deal. Three years later, Thomas was sentenced with 55 years to life for a second-degree murder conviction.

Visit Outside’s website to read the full article.

California Prison Industry Authority graduates 50 people at Pelican Bay State Prison

A group of graduates hold their certificates.

Fifty graduates of the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) received an industry-accredited job certification or apprenticeship at Pelican Bay State Prison. They were recognized for their completion of four different programs.

“We had a graduation here today to recognize incarcerated individuals who completed either job certification programs or apprenticeship programs in computer coding, AutoCAD, laundry, and our health care facilities maintenance programs,” said Bill Davidson, the general manager of California Prison Industry.

The goal of these programs is to set up incarcerated people for success when they return to their communities. Kevin Kelly, a former CALPIA graduate gave the commencement speech.

“It brings joy, it brings a confidence in myself,  but also it’s putting me in a position to be able to reach back and help the people coming behind me,” said Kelly. “Which is all I’ve always wanted to do.”

Visit KIEM for the complete story.

CDCR, DMV update identification card application process for incarcerated people

CDCR helps incarcerated get ID's with DMV

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), in collaboration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), is now offering incarcerated people a streamlined process to apply to receive a California identification (ID) card upon release.

Assisted by trained CDCR staff, people with less than 13 months on their sentence will use an electronic process to submit their application for a replacement state ID card to the DMV. If the applicant does not have a usable photo on file, CDCR staff will use new state-issued tablets to take and submit a new one to the DMV for processing.

“CDCR is committed to helping incarcerated people reentering their community to obtain a CA ID card. Proper identification is necessary to get a job, apply for vital state and federal services, obtain housing and more,” said Division of Rehabilitative Programs Director Brant Choate.

Visit Sierra Sun Times website to read the full article.

Top Inside CDCR Stories

SVSP Resource Team helps staff, incarcerated

Change Advocate: LAC Officer Janvrin

Fitness is more than hobby for Officer Small

MCSP Honor Guard represents at Project 2000

Bringing locally grown produce to institutions