Operation Boo 2022
The California Department of Corrections, (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) as they conduct the 29th Annual Operation Boo. This Halloween night, CDCR’s parole agents across the state will again be out in many of our communities to conduct the appropriate compliance checks on active parolees who are required to register as sex offenders, and have committed crimes against minors. Below is some important information to help ensure your kids and teens are safe, not only on Halloween but always.
Three Questions about Operations Boo
Carey Haidl is the Chief Deputy Regional Administrator (CDRA) for DAPO. She is in charge of five parole districts in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. She began her career in law enforcement as a probation officer in 2000 with the Riverside County Probation Department, and also worked for DAPO for about eight years in a GPS Unit as a Parole Agent I and supervisor, supervising registered sex offenders. Chief Deputy Regional Administrator Haidl has taken part in Operation Boo every year because she believes it is important to be out in the community keeping children safe. She is honored to be a member of DAPO’s executive team while still participating in Operation Boo.
Recognizing that Halloween caters to children, DAPO has operated an annual Halloween operation for the past 29 years. Operation Boo assists in the protection of children in the community and ensures that they can celebrate Halloween safely. Prior to Halloween, DAPO parole agents make certain that all active parolees with sex offenses, who were also convicted of crimes against children, are instructed to be in their residence or designated location by 5:00 p.m. to ensure they are not out in the community during the time children are trick-or-treating. They are also instructed not to display Halloween decorations, to turn off all lights in their home, and to have no candy available.
DAPO parole agents across the state conduct compliance checks during Operation Boo to make sure they are following the above restrictions. Every year, our agents work hard to make Operation Boo a success so that children and their families can have a fun and safe Halloween.
2) What goes into planning Operation Boo?
The planning for Operation Boo is ongoing all year. On a daily basis, DAPO agents assigned to GPS units monitor the compliance and adjustment of sex offender parolees in the community. Case supervision allows our agents to learn about the behavioral patterns, risk factors, and safety concerns of each parolee on their caseload. The supervision, combined with GPS monitoring, treatment progress reports, polygraphs, and participation in containment meetings, aids parole agents in identifying those on parole supervision who may pose a higher risk to the community.
During compliance searches, including Operation Boo, parolees determined to be high risk with prior convictions for crimes against children will be contacted. Parole agents will also identify parolees who live in residential areas with a high volume of children trick-or-treating and contact them on Halloween.
An operation plan is completed a few weeks before Halloween after our agents identify parolees who will be contacted. This plan will include, but will not be limited to, the geographic location of the targets, safety concerns, staff assignments and responsibilities, as well as an execution and contingency plan. The key to a successful Operation Boo and ensuring the safety of DAPO staff and the community is preparation.
3) Is there anything about DAPO and/or Operation Boo that would surprise people?
Something surprising about Operation Boo is that the majority of sex offender parolees follow their conditions of parole and remain in compliance on Halloween. Most importantly, without the hard work and dedication of our DAPO Parole Agents, Operation Boo would not be possible. The amount of support from DAPO agents, as well as local law enforcement agencies and community stakeholders, is overwhelming. We are all working together to keep children safe on Halloween.
Have you joined us at one of our hiring events yet? Next one is our Calipatria and Centinela Hiring Workshop on November 2nd at the Old Eucalyptus School House in El Centro from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Hope to see you there.
Jennifer Benavidez has been appointed Warden at the California Medical Facility, where she has served as Acting Warden since 2021 and served as Chief Deputy Warden from 2020 to 2021. Benavidez was Acting Chief Deputy Administrator at the California Health Care Facility in 2020. She held several roles at Folsom State Prison between 2016 and 2020, including Associate Warden and Correctional Captain. Benavidez was a Correctional Captain at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Headquarters from 2013 to 2016, where she also served as a Correctional Counselor from 2008 to 2013 and Correctional Lieutenant from 2007 to 2008. Benavidez served as a Correctional Sergeant and Correctional Officer at California State Prison Solano from 2003 to 2007 and was a Correctional Officer at the Northern California Women’s Facility from 1997 to 2003.
Landon Bird has been appointed Warden at Valley State Prison, where he has served as Acting Warden since 2021. Bird served at Deuel Vocational Institution between 2020 and 2021 as both Acting Warden and Chief Deputy Warden. He held several positions at Sierra Conservation Center between 1999 and 2020, including Associate Warden, Correctional Captain, Classification and Parole Representative, Correctional Counselor II Supervisor, Correctional Counselor I and Correctional Officer. Bird was a Correctional Officer at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran from 1998 to 1999 and at High Desert State Prison in 1997.
Please join the Office of Employee Wellness for their fifth wellness seminar
Emotional Awareness for the Correctional Environment:
Is it okay to be angry?
November 10th, 2022
Join Dr. Janelle Mefford and Wellness Analyst Jennifer Bem from the Office of Employee Wellness for an opportunity to learn how your emotional awareness is important to your professional and personal relationships. Learn how emotional awareness is connected to your everyday stressors and effects communication and health.
This webinar is one hour and offered at 10:00 am and again at 3:00 pm on Thursday, November 10th, you may attend either session.
To register click below and search
Emotional Awareness for the Correctional Environment:
Is it okay to be angry?
Resource Fair for Adult Re-Entry
Staff from the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) went to the Adult Re-Entry Annual Resource Fair in Mather to provide resources to parolees. OVSRS collaborated with the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) on this event. Staff from OVSRS worked with parolees and the general public to better understand the restitution collection process, as well as opportunities for restorative justice programs in the community for recently released individuals and parolees. Staff had a great time interacting with the public and assisting these people.
Offender Mentor Certification Program (OMCP) Graduation
The 29 incarcerated graduates of the Offender Mentor Certification Program (OMCP) at the California Men’s Colony celebrated a new beginning on October 20, 2022. The graduation was the first of many from this incredible program, according to CMC’s leadership.
The program, according to CMC’s OMCP Director Michael Hibdon, is “a cutting-edge program that certifies incarcerated men and women to become alcohol and drug counselors; approved by the state and able to work in or out of prison, not only improving the lives of the inmates, their families, and communities, but reducing violence on the yards, among many other benefits.”
Principals Professional Development Conference
At the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom, the Office of Correctional Education (OCE) hosted a statewide Principals Professional Development. Undersecretary Jeff Macomber and Division of Rehabilitative Programs Director Brant Choate spoke as guests. Technology, CANVAS and Student Network, College, SOMS, Learning Disabilities, Human Resources, and Correctional Culture were among the topics covered over the three days. Jennie Wynn, Southern Regional Associate Superintendent, who will retire in a few months, was also honored by OCE.
Leaders Tour CRC and CIW
Associate Superintendent Martin Griffin, along with two consultants from Lead Learner Training, visited CRC and CIW yesterday in preparation for an upcoming Evocative Coaching for all OCE statewide administrators.
In our Institutions
In-Person College Graduation Ceremony at RJD
Southwestern Community College (SWC) held an in-person college graduation ceremony at Richard J. Donovan Stadium on October 12. (RJD). Warden Madden, Chief Buckel, OCE Associate Superintendent Martin Griffin, RJD Principal Mondet, and many Education Department personnel were in attendance. It was even more rewarding to have many of the graduates’ guests in attendance. Despite the fact that this was only Southwestern College’s second graduation ceremony at RJD (the first was in December 2021), it was by far the most important. A total of 34 associate degrees were awarded, with 24 students receiving honors, and 26 of those graduates enrolling in the University of California Irvine’s (UCI) bachelor’s degree program at RJD for the fall semester.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
Courtney Waybright, Community Resources Manager (CRM) at the Central California Women’s Facility, was a guest judge at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Speech Contest at Chowchilla High School. The judges interviewed students for the opportunity to attend an all-expenses-paid three-day leadership camp with other students from Central Valley schools.
CRM Waybright, who is also a Rotarian in Chowchilla, stated, “This was a great opportunity to open a door for youth in my community.” The interview process, regardless of whether or not the student was chosen, is an excellent learning tool for developing confidence. That will benefit them later in life. These young adults inspired me because of how involved, focused, and determined they were.
Wasco Staff donates $3000 to Veterans
Wasco State Prison employees contributed $3,000 to the Kern County Honor Flight Association in order to send two veterans to the Washington DC War Memorial on October 19. The Kern County Honor Flight seeks sponsorships of $1,500.00 per veteran to send them on an all-expense-paid trip to their war memorial in Washington, D.C. WSP-RC staff also volunteered their time in downtown Bakersfield to serve the veterans breakfast at the monthly Honor Flight Veterans Breakfast in preparation for the check presentation. Staff enjoyed talking with the veterans and honoring their contributions to their communities and country.
In the Media
KMPH – Liz Gonzalez
FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) — A furry cub.
A majestic bald eagle.
A frog on a log.
These are hardly images that come to mind when you think of Corcoran State Prison—home to nearly 3,400 inmates in Central California.
“It’s mind-blowingly good art,” says Rodney Rodriguez, Founder and President of Fresno Skateboard Salvage.
The program takes old, tattered skateboards and turns them into artwork.
A transformation—much like the ones the inmate artists go through.
“It puts them in the hands of men that kind of feel the same way,” says Correctional Officer Dennis Hicks.
“I feel worthy. That there’s worth in us,” says Donnell Johnson.
Over the course of 180 hours, the inmates restore their canvas and work to create scenes – illusions—to adorn someone’s walls.
“In prison we don’t have a lot of color,” says Sean O’Brien. “We don’t have a lot of beauty. I just hope someone will find the joy I find in painting the artwork I’ve created.”
The boards are later auctioned off to buy brand new skateboards and safety gear for children who would otherwise not have access.
“We’ve worked with Boys and Girls Clubs. We’ve worked with kids in foster care. We’ve worked with kids on Motel Drive,” Rodriguez says.
Just this year, Fresno Skateboard Salvage has distributed more than 80 free skateboards and gear.
The goal: encourage kids to spend time outside—and make positive choices.
“Maybe they won’t take a path that others have chosen,” O’Brien said.
Fresno Skateboard Salvage has raised more than $45,000 from skateboard art auctions so far.
Boards have sold at auction from $50 to more than $2,000.
Golden Gate Express – Oscar Palma
Around 30 people gathered at Jack Adams Hall on Friday to participate in a panel discussion with “Uncuffed” members and to attend Project Rebound’s fifth annual mural celebration of “Incarceration to Liberation.”
The panel was led by “Uncuffed” podcasters Tommy “Shakur” Ross, Thanh Tran and Project Rebound’s Director George Turner.
The panel discussed how they are working to change the narratives that society created for them, and how programs like Project Rebound can help change that narrative.
Tran, who served 10 and a half years, is an organizer, artist and Senior Fellow at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He started this work inside San Quentin State Prison.
“The unique thing about San Quentin State Prison is that they had media,” Tran said. “We had film, we had podcasts, we had radio, we had a newspaper, literally everything we did in that media room was about reclaiming the narrative.”
Ross got out of prison last April. Within the 36 and a half years he served, he managed to earn his associate in arts degree from Oakland’s Patton College in 2019.
Now he is a student at Laney College, an ambassador for the UC Berkeley Scholars programs and works for organizations such as Guiding Rage Into Power and Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth.
“Controlling the narrative means telling my story in a way that’s real and true to me, not the way the state of California sees me or views me,” Ross said. “When you talk about education, education is also controlling the narrative.”
“Uncuffed” is a podcast produced, recorded and edited inside San Quentin and Solano State prisons.
The project started in 2012 as an initiative from KALW producers with the support of the California Arts Council’s Arts in Corrections Program. Its goal is to provide media training to incarcerated people, so they can have a platform to tell their own stories.
Additionally, it is funded by the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. The initiative offers visual, literary, media, performing and traditional arts.
The panelists and attendees also celebrated the Project Rebound mural located at the Cesar Chavez Student Center terrace level.
The mural represents the similarities people have experienced in prisons and the stereotypes that come to formerly incarcerated individuals. Friday’s event was a celebration of the work people have accomplished through Project Rebound.
“Some folks feel that we don’t belong in higher education, that we don’t belong on campuses, that it’s a waste of education,” Turner said. “We proved them wrong over and over again, for the last 53 years, we’ve had a great success rate.”
During the discussion, Tran spoke about the trauma incarcerated people endure and what he believes is the best way to heal.
“One of the most healing things you can do is let it out or whatever art form it is,” Tran said. “Whether it’s painting a beautiful mural, whether it’s a podcast, whether it’s music.”
Project Rebound student Albert “Feast Salotti” Feaster, performed the Project Rebound theme song for the first time on stage.
“We didn’t always think positive and productive,” Feaster said. “We used to think negative. I am trying to be vulnerable. I am trying to look you in the eyes now.”
Tran wanted to send a message about formerly incarcerated people who are trying to transition back to everyday life.
“One of my biggest struggles is teaching people to be patient with me,” Tran said. “I’m learning and I’m doing my very best, I promise you, I’m doing my best.”
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