CDCR's Week in Review Archives

CDCR Week in Review: October 20, 2023

In the Community

COR honor guard attends local high school football game

COR Honor Guard attends high school football game

Exeter Union High School established the “Patriots Game” to honor and share their gratitude for military, law enforcement, and first responder’s. The California State Prison, Corcoran (COR) Honor Guard presented the colors before the game. 

“These events are a great opportunity for community outreach. The school, athletes, community, and the Honor Guard team get to interact with each other on a positive note that otherwise may not have occurred,” said Honor Guard Member Sergeant E. Rios.

Exeter Union High Football Coaches Ruben Ruiz and Steve Lentz, both CDCR employees, were appreciative of the collaborative efforts. The Exeter Fire Department, who was also present, displayed the American flag from their firetruck. 

CMF Northern CA Special Olympics fundraiser

CMF Tip-A-Cop fundraiser

California Medical Facility (CMF) participated in the Tip-A-Cop fundraising event at Texas Roadhouse in Fairfield. They partnered with the Special Olympics of Northern California and other law enforcement agencies. CMF employees shared information about Special Olympics and collected “tips” for the cause. The event raised $3,822 for the Special Olympics athletes of Northern California.

CA Model

CCI employee wellness fair

CCI Employee Health and Wellness Fair

California Correctional Institution (CCI) hosted its first ever Employee Health and Wellness Fair. Institution Personnel Officer (IPO) Angela Whitworth took lead on the event.

Staff visited over 25 local Kern County vendors and built relationships with the community. Warden Brian Cates and CEO Bob Edwards volunteered for a holding cell water balloon toss.

Several vendors expressed their appreciation and complimented the staff at CCI for their kindness and interest in supporting local business.

“I wanted to offer our staff the chance to expand what it means to be healthy and experience something positive,” said IPO Angela Whitworth.

SCC employee appreciation day

SCC Employee Appreciation Day

Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) hosted Employee Appreciation Day. The nonprofit Employee and Community Benefit Association, administration, and various employee organizations sponsored the event. 

CDCR Unlocked

A man with blonde hair sits at a desk covered with papers and a camera.

Unlocking History with Don Chaddock

CDCR Unlocked takes the “unlocked” theme one step further with this episode, a conversation with Unlocking History creator Don Chaddock. Chaddock is the editor of Inside CDCR, CDCR’s public-facing news site.

Chaddock joined CDCR after a career in journalism, and that combined with his love of history made CDCR a perfect fit. When he’s not covering the many accomplishments of employees and incarcerated people, Chaddock researches the history of the department extensively. Unlocking History is the result of this extensive work, and explores the people, places and programs that helped shape corrections in California.

In this conversation with CDCR Unlocked, Chaddock shares why history is important to him, the interesting experiences he has had with CDCR employees and readers, and how learning about the past can help us make good choices today.

Visit RSS website to listen to the CDCR Unlocked podcast.


MCRP Butte participants at State Capitol

MCRP visits Capitol

Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) participants visited the State Capitol for Recovery Happens. Participants gathered to march around the Capitol, celebrate their road to recovery, and kick off National Recovery Month. Two provider tents with sponsors handed out free items and resources such as networking for online education and housing opportunities.

MCRP Butte participants helped in designing the shirts for this event.

“To be able to take part in a recovery event and see how much is out there for recovery addicts is encouraging. It is good to know we’re not alone in our struggle,” said an MCRP Butte participant.

RJD graduate shakes hands with teacher

RJD students celebrate graduation

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) celebrated graduation at the Otay Mesa Adult School. Ninety graduates received recognition for earning one of the following:

  • a High School Diploma
  • General Education Development (GED)
  • Peer Literacy Mentor Program certification
  • and Associate Degree from Southwestern College or Coastline Community College.

Warden (A) James Hill, Principal Ana Mondet and Associate Superintendent Nina Thomas shared words of encouragement for the new graduates.


World Mental Health Day logo

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health conditions and communicate that mental health is essential to our physical and emotional well-being.

According to Global Health Data, “In 2019, 1 in every 8 people, or 970 million people around the world, were living with a mental disorder, with anxiety and depressive disorders (being) the most common.” Many individuals suffer in silence due to shame they feel from the social stigma around mental health.

Recognizing this day also sheds light on the unique challenges faced by individuals from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities when it comes to mental health. Historical trauma, racial discrimination, socioeconomic inequalities, and cultural stigma are just a few factors that can impact mental well-being within these communities.

Anyone could face a mental health crisis, and taking part in understanding the obstacles in accessing help reduces the disparities within all communities.

Submission by GARE Ambassador Ryecobie Brooks

To encourage employees to expand their knowledge and gain new experiences, CDCR/CCHCS GARE Ambassadors are sharing celebrations throughout the year.  To learn more about the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts visit the GARE website


CCJBH logo

CCJBH Full Council Meeting

When: October 27, 2023, from 2-4:30 p.m.

Where: Virtually via Microsoft Teams

Description: The webinar will discuss the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) justice-involved planning and implementation efforts.

In the Media

incarcerated individual at UCI

After 30 years in California prison, he starts new life at UC Irvine

In the year since his release, Patrick Acuña transitioned between two historically dichotomous institutions: the prison he believed he would die in and University of California, Irvine brimming with opportunities for a man who completed high school while in juvenile hall decades ago.

“I’m so glad I didn’t get the death penalty,” said Acuña, who faced that sentence at age 19. “I would have never had the opportunity to get an education, to love, to make friends.”

Acuña’s transformation was decades in the making, with education remaining his constant guide.

Visit University of California’s website to read the full article.

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