This week, CDCR observed several national recognition weeks honoring employees, including nurses, correctional officers, and teachers. May 7-13 is Public Service Recognition Week, honoring the people who serve as federal, state, county, local and tribal government employees.
Public Service Recognition Week
Secretary, Receiver applaud public service
Public Service Recognition Week is an opportunity for us to recognize your hard work and celebrate your achievements. We hope you take a moment to reflect on your contributions to your community and feel proud of the important role you play in public safety and rehabilitation.
This week and all year long, we honor you for your service to the citizens of California. CDCR and CCHCS leadership recognize that your work is not always easy, and you face many challenges in your chosen profession. You should be proud of your hard work and dedication. We are grateful for all that you do, and we want you to know your efforts do not go unnoticed.
Jeff Macomber, Secretary, CDCR and J. Clark Kelso, Receiver, CCHCS
National Correctional Officers Week
Director Gipson thanks officers
For 39 years, the first full week of May has been recognized as National Correctional Officers Week. As a 24/7/365 operation, correctional peace officers serve a vital role in public safety. We acknowledge the courage and heroism it takes to dedicate your life and career to such a role.
As correctional peace officers, you can make a positive difference in someone’s life. Those changes have the ability to impact generations to come. Your work today is more important than ever.
The California Model, a reimagining of the correctional landscape, aims to make this a better place to work and improve the overall wellness of our dedicated employees.
Through a partnership with the Amend program at the University of California San Francisco, leaders throughout CDCR have traveled to Norway to study their approach to normalcy in corrections and success in expanding employee wellness. We have taken some of the best practices and have been using them as inspiration to develop new programs and policies here.
This National Correctional Officers Week we reiterate our care and commitment to all CDCR correctional peace officers. To those who have just joined our department, and to those who have given years, and even decades, in public service.
Please join me in celebrating National Correctional Officers Week and be sure to express your gratitude for those who serve as a crucial pillar in our public safety systems.
Connie Gipson, Director, Division of Adult Institutions, CDCR
National Nurses Week
Gratitude from Debra Amos-Terrell
In honor of National Nurses Week, observed May 6-12, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our nurses for your invaluable work.
Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system. We rely on your knowledge, skills, and dedication to provide compassionate care to our patients. Your contributions do not go unnoticed, and we recognize the critical role you play in the lives of our patients.
As we celebrate National Nurses Week, I want to thank our nurses for their tireless efforts, dedication, and compassion. Your unwavering commitment to patient care is a testament to your professionalism and respect you have for the nursing profession.
This year’s theme set by American Nurses Association, You Make a Difference, perfectly captures the essence of your work. The theme honors your varying nursing roles as well as the positive impact you have on everyone’s lives.
I encourage everyone to reflect on the vital role nurses play in our healthcare system and to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
To our incredible nursing team, I thank you for all that you do to make our organization a success and our patients healthier. You are an inspiration to us all, and we could not do what we do without you.
Debra Amos-Terrell, Deputy Director Statewide Nursing Services (A)
Teacher Appreciation Week
Superintendent Swain reflects on teacher contributions
In honor of May 7-13 being Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to take this opportunity to send a thank you and recognition to those in our correctional classrooms who positively impact thousands of lives every single day.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward
Teaching in prison takes a special kind of person, one who can meet students where they are, helping them see a new way of thinking and understanding. In classrooms across the state, I have seen teachers differentiate instruction, use cooperative learning strategies and evidence-based instructional practices to provide rich, relevant experiences for their students.
Wellness throughout your correctional career
In this week’s episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast , experts from CDCR’s Office of Employee Wellness discuss what it’s like once you’re not quite a “new” CDCR employee, but not someone with decades of experience in the department. What challenges do we face after we pass probation? What should we consider when deciding whether to promote? And most importantly, what steps can we take toward the beginning of our careers to set us on a path of wellness that will carry us into retirement?
At the Capitol
The Senate voted 35-0 May 8 to confirm Jeff Macomber, Secretary, CDCR.
Danyal Noel has been assigned as Deputy Director of Human Resources.
Charles Schuyler has been appointed Chief Deputy Warden of Salinas Valley State Prison.
KVSP Shared Governance kickoff Event
Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) hosted their Shared Governance kickoff event. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with Shared Governance committee members and learn more about the initiative.
Through the Shared Governance program, KVSP nurses have a formal role and an active voice in the decision-making process. The nursing staff meets with leadership regarding patient care protocols and work environments, ultimately influencing their practice outcomes.
The theme of the event was “D.R.I.V.E to Success.” D.R.I.V.E stands for:
The event included a car show, local food vendors, and live music. Headquarters leadership attended to show support and commitment to the program.
SATF talent show
California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison (SATF) Facility F hosted its Second Annual Enhanced Outpatient (EOP) Talent Show.
The 14 acts performed included:
- Dance routines
- Old school
- and alternative artists.
Warden (A) Bryan D. Phillips and Chief Executive Officer Anu Banerjee attended the event. Both addressed everyone at the event and thanked them for their effort in coordinating the event. SATF’s Inmate Advisory Council (IAC) has been working hard to provide an opportunity for incarcerated people to display their talents. The IAC is active in providing positive peer-led groups and events.
CEN and LAC celebrate graduates
Centinela State Prison (CEN) and California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC) held separate graduation events. Between the institutions, the graduations included:
- one Associate of Arts graduate
- seven high school diploma graduates
- 49 general education development graduates
- two Peer Literacy Mentor Program completions
- and several transition program completions.
Two LAC graduation speakers celebrated their Supervisor of Academic Instruction Mandee Dees for being a driving force in their completion when she was their GED teacher.
Family and friends attended CEN’s ceremony to support their graduate.
Fresno Asian Fest
Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) recruiters attended Asian Fest at Fresno Community College. They presented peace officer career opportunities with students and the community.
CDCR/CCHCS Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) ambassadors Rupashna Singh and Francisco Velasquez attended the event.
The ambassadors shared the path forward into the commitment of achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts throughout the Department.
Victims’ Rights and Services
CCWF donates 10K in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) donated $10K to Naomi’s House, a 40-bed overnight shelter for single homeless women.
The donation came from charitable fundraising with the general population at CCWF.
Representatives from the Poverello House of Fresno visited CCWF to accept the donation. The Poverello House provides meals, social services, and shelters around Fresno County. Naomi’s House provides housing for female victims of domestic and sexual violence.
“In addition to the $10,000 donation, we donated pillows, 250 pounds of laundry detergent, 60 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, canned foods, and letters of encouragement written by the incarcerated at CCWF,” shared Community Resources Manager Courtney Waybright. “The donated food and hygiene items totaled close to $1,500. It is amazing to see how generous the CCWF population is when it comes to contributing back to society or those in need. The reward of helping someone else brings feelings of happiness. This inevitably will change the mindset during rehabilitation and give a sense of purpose. This is truly what rehabilitation is about.”
Hate crimes hotline launches
The California Civil Rights Department is launching a victims and witnesses hotline to assist with services due to hate crimes. OVSRS mainly works with victims and offenders in the post-conviction process. The office still receives calls or emails from victims that may be experiencing hate crimes throughout the state.
OVSRS encourages individuals to use this as a reference to those that may need it. The information is listed on their website under State Resources (State Services for Crime Victims).
In the Media
Mayor Darrell Steinberg named lead adviser to Gov. Newsom’s San Quentin Prison transformation
(KTXL) — Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg was announced to be the lead adviser of California’s project to transform San Quentin State Prison into San Quentin Rehabilitation Center.
Announced in March, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the transformation of the prison would establish a new model for safety and justice that focuses on rehabilitation and education.
Incarcerated men and women are learning to address their own trauma
Hurt people hurt people, so the saying goes. In California’s prison and parole system, that’s more than 142,000 women and men who have been hurt. Prisons are designed to punish, not heal. But recent research and work within prisons demonstrates that despite concrete and razor wire, incarcerated men and women are addressing their own trauma.
Last week in Norco, I went to the California Rehabilitation Center and talked with more than 200 incarcerated men throughout the day. I was invited as one of a handful of guests to discuss the ripple effects of violence on individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities. In observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we guests spoke about how our experiences with crime mark us as victim but also witness. But as I listened closely to how the incarcerated men responded and gave testimony, I realized they were also victim and witness. Such a radical, complex idea — that incarcerated people can be both victims and victimizers.