Lt. Larry Faria receives 2023 Medal of Valor
The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. This year’s recipient of the Medal of Valor is Lt. Larry Faria from the Office of Peace Officer Selection in Fresno.
The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others. Faria fits the bill.
On July 7, 2022, during his commute to work, Faria witnessed a dramatic collision involving a Toyota Prius and a semi tractor trailer. Swiftly responding to the situation, Faria stopped to provide aid.
CDCR pledges to advance women in corrections
CDCR is launching an initiative to increase the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in law enforcement.
Secretary Jeffrey Macomber has signed a “30×30” pledge, which sets a goal to have women make up 30 percent of correctional officer cadets by 2030. Further, CDCR will work to ensure the Department is representative of the jurisdictions it serves by taking steps to improve gender equity and implement strategies and solutions to advance women in the department.
Currently, women make up of 17 percent of CDCR’s sworn officers and 19 percent of correctional leadership classifications. While that is higher than the national average of 12 percent of sworn officers and 3 percent of police leadership in the U.S. being women, CDCR is committed to improving even more.
“CDCR recognizes the importance of focusing on the underrepresentation of women in corrections and we are proud to join the 30×30 pledge,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber. “CDCR is already taking steps to fulfill our commitment by establishing a strategic campaign to achieve our goal.”
CRC: A model of innovation in rehabilitation
Over the past few years, the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) has embarked on efforts to rejuvenate its physical infrastructure and its approach to rehabilitation. Under the guidance of Warden Glenn Pratt, CRC has become an example of innovation and commitment to rehabilitation. Pratt will be the first to tell you – it doesn’t happen without the input and hard work of enthusiastic staff.
Plan now for a relaxing retirement
In the latest episode of CDCR Unlocked, representatives from CDCR’s Office of Employee Wellness sit down with Brian Hinton of Savings Plus to talk retirement. Savings Plus is the voluntary retirement program for state employee that allows them to supplement retirement benefits through tax-deferred and Roth payroll contributions.
Hinton, Sgt. Corey Ringer, Kathryn Jue and Mai HerHolloway discuss the importance of making contributions to Savings Plus, how to get the most out of those contributions, and the many workshops and webinars available to all state employees to learn more about financial literacy.
Learn more at www.savingsplusnow.com.
National Native American Day
National Native American Day, observed Sept. 22, honors the cultural contributions of Native Americans. On this day, we acknowledge the work ahead to ensure Native Americans have equal rights and opportunities across the United States.
This special day allows us to appreciate the profound connections between Native Americans and the nation’s history. Their influence on agriculture, medicine, art, and environmental conservation cannot be overstated. Yet, it’s equally important to acknowledge the hardships they’ve faced, from forced displacement to land loss and discrimination.
By fostering understanding and appreciation, this day encourages unity and respect for the diverse tapestry of indigenous cultures in America. It inspires us to learn, engage, and support initiatives that promote the welfare and recognition of Native Americans, promoting a sense of national unity and reverence.
International Day of Peace
International Day of Peace is recognized on September 21. It originated in 1981 by the United Nations to provide a day for the world to set aside differences and create a culture of peace for current and future generations.
Imagine a day when everyone takes a break from fighting and feuding. Instead of arguments, there are discussions. Instead of weapons, there are olive branches. People hold events, talks, and concerts to spread the idea of peace.
Let us all remember the roots, and true meaning of the world “peace,” and come together to work towards a more peaceful world. May this day inspire us to promote love, understand, and have compassion towards all.
Imagine a giant global group hug. Because whether you’re in a big country or a small one, peace is something that connects us all.
Submission by GARE Ambassadors Kimberly Opoku and Erika Lopez
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.
National Suicide Prevention Month
Every year we acknowledge September as National Suicide Prevention month with the goal of increasing awareness and providing education and resources for prevention.
Suicide can be difficult to talk about and when the tragedy of suicide occurs, people often experience a wide range of emotional reactions. Following a suicide, loved ones are likely confused and have many questions about the potential signs and symptoms that might have been missed. Loved ones can also experience self-blame; believing that they could have done something to prevent the suicide.
One of the most valuable lessons that can be collected from the tragedy of suicide is how to recognize risks, warning signs, and to look and listen for subtle cues that someone needs help. Being a listening, supportive person can make a difference for someone.
CDCR attends public safety career fair
CDCR recently attended a public safety career fair at Delta College. Over 80 agencies attended the event. In attendance were:
- Office of Peace Officer Selection (OPOS)
- Human Resources (HR)
- and Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO).
In Our Institutions
Fundraiser for KVSP officer
Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) Correctional Officer Ray Arvizu was diagnosed with Cancer. A fundraiser for Ray Arvizu took place at Seven Oaks Country Club in Bakersfield.
Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP) Correctional Counselor Adrian Magallanes organized a tennis fundraiser for his partner in order to help raise money and support for Ray Arvizu and his family.
The tennis fundraiser was able to raise over $2,000 dollars for the Arvizu family.
CCWF’s new snack bar
Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) Warden Anissa De La Cruz hosted the grand opening ceremony for the new snack bar. The new family-owned snack bar is named “Bravo Bites.”
In attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony included Warden (A) De La Cruz, institutional staff, and visiting Director Amy Miller.
CCWF has been long overdue for a snack bar over the pandemic. Bravo Bites won the bid and their hard work paid off with the grand opening.
Staff were excited to patronize and welcome Bravo Bites to CCWF as part of the family. Warden De La Cruz worked closely with Business Services to ensure staff had access to great meals.
CCJBH Full Council Meeting
When: October 27, 2023, from 2-4:30 p.m.
Where: Board of Parole Hearings, 1515 K St., Suite 550, Sacramento, CA 95811 or virtually via MS Teams
Description: The webinar will discuss the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) justice-involved planning and implementation efforts.
In the Media
People in California Prison Are Helping Disadvantaged Youth Skateboard
Fresno Skateboard Salvage is a nonprofit organization that Skateboarder Rodney Rodriguez started. His organization is dedicating its time to providing disadvantaged kids with skateboards and gear, by simply showing up at parks and swapping old damaged boards with fresh high-quality setups.
As the organization expanded they started working with prisons across the state of California, as incarcerated artists makeover blank decks, which get auctioned off by Fresno Skateboard Salvage, helping to raise funds to be able to buy material to help get kids skating! Thier next Auction will take place mid October, 2023, check out some of the art and artists below!
Meet the San Quentin sports editor who covers everything from soccer to prison pickleball
San Quentin Prison State Prison has one of the most robust sport programs in California prisons. There’s a 70-year-old baseball team, hardcore marathon runners, and a basketball team that often gets visitors from the Golden Gate Warriors. Recently, people even started playing pickleball.
The job of the sports editor at the San Quentin Newspaper is to document it all. Uncuffed producer Ryan Pagan interviewed San Quentin News Sports Editor Timothy Hicks on what it is like to report court-side.
Mayor tours Norwegian prisons as part of effort to remake San Quentin
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and a number of other California state lawmakers are in Norway touring prisons to learn about the country’s penal system, often cited by reform advocates as one of the most successful in the world.
Steinberg is the lead advisor on the council for the project to turn San Quentin State Prison into a center that is more focused on rehabilitation and reentry.
Steinberg appears in a social media post by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, who posted a photo with the Sacramento mayor while commenting on their visit to two Norwegian prisons.