Spring brings 2023 Law Enforcement Torch Run season
April is Physical Wellness Month and there is no better way to celebrate than kicking off the 2023 Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run season.
California has seen one of the wettest, coldest winters on record but with spring weather finally arriving, it’s time to get outside and soak up that Vitamin D.
Every year law enforcement agencies like CDCR and CCHCS run, carrying the Flame of Hope across California. The run honors their commitment to the Special Olympics athletes and culminates with the summer games.
Participants statewide are committed to supporting inclusion not only for Special Olympics but within their institutions as well.
In Our Institutions
San Quentin celebrates Passover
San Quentin State Prison (SQ) celebrated Passover on April 5. Jewish Chaplin Rabbi P. Shleffar led the Passover Seder. The Passover observance was available to all of the population who regularly participate in Jewish services. Warden Oak Smith and the Public Information Officer Lt. Guim’Mara Berry attended.
PBSP Prison Paws
Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) Prison Paws Partnership held their fifth round canine graduation. The dogs participated in a six-week program where they learned obedience and socialization skills to be ready for adoption.
The Prison Paws Partnership is a collaboration between PBSP and the Humane Society of Del Norte that started in November 2017.
Easter celebrations continue at PBSP, CCI
CDCR and CCHCS staff worked to brighten Easter for families inside prisons as well as those in the community. Families visiting their incarcerated loved ones were treated to egg hunts, activities and treats.
Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) staff prepared Easter baskets and decorated the visiting room for the children attending visiting on April 9. Pictured above, PBSP staff handed out Easter Baskets with crocheted animals. The hobby craft group on Facility D donated the handmade treasures.
California Correctional Institution (CCI), pictured left, held an Easter egg hunt on April 8. Both Facility C and D visiting held hunts.
Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus visits SQ
The Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus visited San Quentin State Prison (SQ) to meet the Acting with Compassion and Truth (ACT)/A.L.I.G.H.T program.
Several of the legislators reenacted experiences from the incarcerated ACT members who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. In the skits, individuals were sent to housing units and interacted with non-LGBTQ+ people.
Division of Juvenile Justice
DJJ’s legacy to endure at CDCR
The realignment of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will be completed by June 30, 2023. Many of the peace officers who helped with the success of DJJ are looking forward to bringing their skills and continuing their careers with CDCR’s Division of Adult Institutions, or Division of Adult Parole Operations. CDCR will benefit from the wealth of experience and skills of its talented officers, as DJJ undergoes this major transition.
Janene Delmundo has been appointed as Deputy Director for Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT)/Special Projects for the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS).
The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) has announced its upcoming meeting schedule.
CCJBH Juvenile Justice Workgroup meeting
When: May 12, 2023, 12:45-2:45 p.m.
The RAND Corporation will provide an update on the Juvenile Justice Compendium and Toolkit contract, funded by CCJBH. The presentation will include a detailed overview of the Evidence-Based and Emerging Practices and Programs Compendium, a compilation of current, relevant information regarding the established practices and programs designed to serve the youth population realigned per SB 823. The RAND Corporation will also provide comprehensive instructions on how the compendium can be used to support justice system partners. Please share widely with all justice system partners serving youth.
CCJBH Diversion Reentry Workgroup meeting
When: May 12, 2023, from 3:00-5:00 PM
The workgroup will feature a presentation on the behavioral health workforce and successful programs that serve individuals with behavioral health needs who are involved with the justice system. The workgroup will feature presentations from the system, community and individual level on the behavioral health workforce and successful programs that serve individuals with behavioral health needs who are involved with the justice system. CCJBH Councilmember Anita Fisher will present from a lived experience perspective on the needs of the behavioral health workforce. The California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) will present on the current state-level initiatives to strengthen the behavioral health workforce. The California Mental Health Services Administration (CalMHSA) will present on their work with peer certification. Kevin O’Connell, Principal Engineer at CSG Consultants, Inc. will present on a tool to estimate behavioral health workforce need.
CCJBH Lived Experience Showcase
When: May 26, 2023, 2-4:30 p.m.
CCJBH’s Lived Experience Contractors will reflect on the challenges and successes over the past three years of their contract.
CDCR makes CO hiring process faster
As the need to fill correctional officer positions increases, the CDCR Office of Peace Officer Selection (OPOS) is making the hiring process faster, easier, and more convenient to attract the incoming workforce.
To stay competitive with other hiring agencies, online platforms are being used to streamline processes and enhance customer service to better assist candidates through the process. such as:
- Monthly Virtual Career Fairs
- Live Chat available.
- Take written exam online and in-person.
- Increase JumpStart events at all selection centers.
- Suspension of Physical Fitness Test (PFT) in the selection process.
- Online background investigations.
- Psychological screening interviews are available online.
- Candidates can reschedule components to fit their schedule.
- Videos are available online to guide candidates through the hiring/background process.
- Academy tours and a Q&A with staff are offered to incoming cadets.
In the Community
ASP staff donate shoes to Randy’s Closet
Avenal State Prison (ASP) staff organized a shoe drive with all donations going to Randy’s Closet Outreach of the Cornerstone Community Care in Fresno.
The shoes were for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Each child is provided one pair of shoes, three to five outfits, and assistance with food items.
Founder, director, and coordinator for Randy’s Closet, Lorraine Estrada, expressed the organization’s appreciation to the staff at ASP.
CTF raises Over $19,000 for local schools
The Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Fathers Behind Bars program held a food sale fundraiser for the incarcerated population, raising over $19,000 for local high school athletic programs.
A food sale fundraiser is an event where food items are sold to raise money for a charitable cause. CTF leadership approved the sale of items from vendors in the community, such as Costco and Foods Co., to be sold to the incarcerated population, with a percentage of the proceeds going toward a charitable contribution.
Fathers Behind Bars at CTF chose Salinas High School and Alisal High School to receive a check for over $9,000 each. With the funds from the donations, the school’s athletic programs will be able to pay for travel and purchase new equipment.
In the Media
FSP raises nearly $23K for Girl Scouts
Incarcerated people at the Folsom State Prison were able to raise thousands of dollars for Girl Scouts Hearts of Central California by selling cookies to other inmates.
The inmates were able to purchase the cookies directly from the organization, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.