CDCR takes home three technology awards
CDCR continues to lead the way in technology innovation, earning three “Best of California” awards at the California Digital Government Summit in Sacramento.
The annual awards recognize outstanding state and local government technology projects. This year’s awards demonstrate the diverse needs of CDCR’s stakeholders and the excellent collaboration among Enterprise Information Services (EIS) technology experts and divisions throughout CDCR.
CDCR technology awards
- Innovative Use of Data Analytics – California Parole Data Management Analytics and Visualization
- The Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) is a web-based application that provides law enforcement agencies with photos and specific information about people on parole supervision, and well as Non-Revocable Parole and Post Release Community Supervision.
- Excellence in Project Management– Automated Rehabilitative Catalog and Information Discovery Machine (ARCAID). Information Technology Specialist I Matthew Moore was recognized for his “creative approach and dedication to the successful integration and implementation of this project.”
- ARCAID is a self-service search platform that connects the criminal justice-involved population with services and job opportunities throughout California.
- Best IT Collaboration – Technology Supporting Incarcerated Students in Educational Programs
- This award honors the multidisciplinary team that is working to roll out thousands of secure laptops to incarcerated students. These laptops allow students to interact with teachers and fellow students in new and innovative ways, including accessing academic courses, standardized testing, and digital learning platforms such as Canvas.
- Honorees for this collaboration were the Division of Rehabilitative Programs, EIS, Division of Adult Institutions, California Community Colleges, and California State Universities.
New dashboard offers interactive recidivism data
CDCR provides annual recidivism outcomes for people released from prison during a given fiscal year. The State of California defines recidivism as “conviction of a new felony or misdemeanor committed within three years of release from custody or committed within three years of placement on supervision for a previous criminal conviction.”
In an effort to provide current and interactive data related to the recidivism of people released from CDCR, the Department developed the Recidivism Public Data Dashboard. This dashboard reflects the data points included in the Recidivism Reports such as arrest, conviction, and return-to-prison rates by a variety of demographics (e.g., age, gender, county of release) and characteristics (e.g., commitment offense category, length of stay). It is intended to complement, not replace, the Recidivism Reports by providing more options to filter and search for the specific data users need.
“Our goal is to make data easy to find and understand for our many internal and external stakeholders,” shared Chris Chambers, Chief of the CDCR Office of Research. “Dashboards such as this one allows far more options for people to find relevant data quickly and efficiently. I am proud of the Office of Research for their dedication to this project and to making sure our clients have a good experience.”
The Dashboard allows users to drill down into recidivism rates by time and place, provides data tables, filtering options, interactive maps, trend indicators and charts, and data highlights containing pertinent information about the data. The Recidivism Public Data Dashboard provides data for people released from CDCR between Fiscal Years 2008-09 through 2015-16 and will be updated annually to reflect the most recent recidivism trends.
For questions or to provide feedback, please contact the CDCR Office of Research’s Data Concierge Service Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stress resiliency with the Office of Employee Wellness
In this week’s episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast, representatives from CDCR’s Office of Employee Wellness share memories of their first day at CDCR, including custody and administrative experience. Their diverse experiences share a common thread – Corrections is a workplace unlike any other, with stressors and duties not easy to relate to. The OEW experts share their tips for recognizing the signs of stress in ourselves and our loved ones, and resources for how to move through it successfully.
65 Years of Caring for California
After two years of an online campaign, this year CDCR and CCHCS are excited to bring the Our Promise campaign back in-person! This year’s CDCR and CCHCS campaign begins October 10 and runs through November 11, and kicks off with a series of events beginning October 12 at CDCR Headquarters.
Through the statewide campaign Our Promise: California State Employees Giving Back at Work, state workers can volunteer to make a one-time or ongoing donation via payroll deduction to a nonprofit of their choice.
The campaign events begin Wednesday, October 12, at CDCR Headquarters, 1515 S. St., Sacramento. Attendees will enjoy entertainment, door prizes, food trucks, guest speakers and the opportunity to learn from various nonprofit organizations about the important work they do. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Our Promise hits the road after that, with an event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 19, at 1920 Birkmont Drive, Rancho Cordova. Next, check out the fun from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, at 8280 Longleaf Drive, Elk Grove.
VSP suicide prevention and awareness event
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, affecting the lives of many CDCR staff, families, friends, and communities. September was Suicide Prevention and Recovery Awareness Month and in observance, Valley State Prison (VSP) held its annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Event. Staff were greeted at the entrance with warm smiles (behind the mask), served a free lunch, and provided with suicide prevention/awareness resources.
Volunteer staff from custody, health care, and mental health worked together the entirety of the day to ensure staff from all watches were provided with free food and resources. The local Law Enforcement Chaplaincy assisted in the event by setting up a resource booth, offering their services to anyone in need.
“This event always brings staff together and I know all staff were very appreciative of the resources and food provided,” said Chief Psychologist Ph.D. Adrianna Shoji. “Today’s event demonstrates how awesome Valley State Prison is and how we support one another while working in a challenging environment.”
It’s always a pleasure to participate in events that brings us all together as staff,” shared Correctional Captain Everado Cruz.
Overdose Awareness Day
Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) participated in Overdose Awareness Day. Staff at the facility entrances handed out purple ribbons, pamphlets, and information on overdose awareness to staff.
Continuing with the awareness events, the incarcerated population received overdose awareness information in the classroom and created chalk drawings on the facility floors.
Hillary Iserman has been appointed as Deputy Director Peace Officer Selection and Employee Development (POSED). Iserman has over 22 years of public service and most recently served as the Deputy Superintendent for the Division of Rehabilitative Programs from March 2018 to September 2022.
In our Institutions
Pelican Bay State Prison Garden Club
The Facility D Garden Club at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) donated a hand-painted planter box, along with a little bear and mushroom, all crafted and painted by club members.
The completed box contained an oak tree, redwood tree, and variety of plants. Facility D Captain Michael Betzinger presented the planter box to Crescent City Skilled Nursing Home residents and staff, who were delighted and thankful to see the gift.
The programs and contributions in and out of PBSP continue to make a great imprint in the community as well as provide sense of accomplishment among the incarcerated population.
In the Media
A woman was stabbed Tuesday morning on the Alamo Creek Bike Trail, the Vacaville Police Department announced in a Facebook post. Officers responded to a call at around 10 a.m. regarding the incident in the area of the bike trail near Brookdale Court.
When officers arrived at the scene, they learned a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Correctional Officer and cleanup crew of incarcerated people had intervened when they saw the woman stabbed by a male suspect on the trail.
The unidentified suspect was detained by the CDCR crew, according to police. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where she is in stable condition.
A crew of incarcerated on clean-up duty with an officer overseeing them saved an 18-year-old woman who was being stabbed on a bike trail Tuesday, police said.
The assault of the woman happened in the area of Brookdale Court on the Alamo Creek bike trail, Vacaville police said in a statement. Officers were called there about 10 a.m.
According to police, an officer from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the clean-up crew intervened when they saw a man stabbing the woman. In their statement, police said they were “incredibly thankful for the CDCR employee and inmates whose bravery undoubtedly saved the woman’s life.” Read the full story.
This week, Impact Justice announced the launch of Growing Justice, a new program that utilizes precision indoor agriculture to expand access to fresh food in prison communities and provide skills training to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations.
The program’s first containerized vertical farm and job training program will be at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, the first of what Impact Justice says will be multiple Growing Justice installations at corrections facilities across California. The second location will be Impact Justice’s Oakland headquarters. Both installations will be hydroponic farms built inside shipping containers outfitted with grow lights and irrigation systems.
The Growing Justice work training program is available to populations within 24 months of their scheduled release date. Those already released can apply to participate in the program. Growing Justice is also working with controlled environment agriculture advisory firm Agritecture to create a six-month training program tailored to give prison populations hands-on experience operating a vertical farm.
On the corner of Centinela and Inglewood Avenue is a casual restaurant offering soul food and second chances to men and women who are returning to society after years in prison.
“It’s really hard for them to find employment,” says Ray Ford, co-founder of 2nd Chance Soul Food Fish Fry. “We don’t care about their background, we don’t care about them being incarcerated, being on parole, any of that, because we just want these guys and these girls to be able to get out of prison and not recidivate and return back to prison.”
The restaurant currently employs six people, four of whom are former inmates. But before they even start working in the restaurant, Ford and his wife offer them up to a year of transitional housing through a contract with the state. Read the full story.