The efforts of all CDCR and CCHCS staff during this crisis have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Receiver Clark Kelso and I deeply appreciative everybody who is going above and beyond during this time of great change.
Did you know that someone needs blood every two seconds? That means the need for donations is constant. Luckily, our staff are up to the challenge and eager to help. CDCR and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) have teamed up with Vitalant to host a series of blood drives at Headquarters in Sacramento and Elk Grove.
Last week, we invited you to send us your questions about COVID-19. Since this situation is in flux with daily developments and decisions, the best way to get authoritative answers is to check our COVID-19 website regularly. Consider bookmarking it on your browser.
CCHCS staff at CSP-Los Angeles County came together to observe National Patient Safety Week, March 8-14. Dental, Nursing, and Mental Health staff visited a different yard each day and provided information to incarcerated patients on various patient safety and health topics.
For the first time, candidates for Los Angeles County District Attorney held a town hall meeting for incarcerated men at the county’s only state prison. Hosted by CSP-Los Angeles County and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), the town hall’s goal was to provide incarcerated individuals and crime survivors the opportunity to let their voices be heard by the candidates who could impact their futures. The event was held at Facility A Visiting.
Frieze Projects curators Rita Gonzalez and Pilar Tompkins Rivas visited the art studio at California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC), where they met with the incarcerated artists and worked with the members of the studio to select work that represented their stories and experience.
Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF) recently hosted a gender responsive resource fair for incarcerated women preparing for their return to the community.
CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), Northern Region Adult Program Unit, coordinated with the Division of Adult Institutions to put on the event.
ABOVE THE CALL
Sex-Offender Parole Agent Javier Cosme has a tough beat supervising high-risk sex offenders in the community. Mandated to wear GPS tracking devices on their ankles, these offenders are closely monitored.
With thoughts of a Sergeant interview running through his mind, Correctional Officer Ranato Benitez-Sanchez was heading to Ironwood State Prison when he spotted a woman sitting on an overpass, looking down at traffic. Pulling over to ask if she was OK, he soon realized she was contemplating suicide.
In the early morning hours on Friday, Sept. 6, the lives of two individuals would be drastically changed. While driving to work on Highway 111, Rosalie Cota came upon a huge cloud of dust blowing on the roadway, obscuring her vision, forcing her to slow down to a crawl. As the dust settled, Cota was able to see a vehicle on the opposite side of the road, flipped over and resting on the passenger side. The severely injured driver happened to be a correctional sergeant.
BEYOND THE BADGE
A 19th century literary figure serves as inspiration for Northern California native B. Clay Shannon, a CDCR Case Records Analyst. He’s worked for the department since July 2018. Shannon’s interest in Samuel Clemens, better known as author Mark Twain, began at an early age. Inside CDCR caught up with Shannon to discuss how he strives to achieve work-life balance.
San Quentin State Prison is the oldest state correctional facility in California and one man has made it his mission to help others remember its history. Associate Warden Richard “Dick” Nelson began his preservation efforts in 1986 while he was still employed at San Quentin. Inside CDCR recently caught up with Nelson in the San Quentin Prison Museum.
CDCR employee Kimberly Henson knew from an early age she had an affinity for bovines. Now, she directs that passion toward education, community involvement and rustling support for the longhorn steers’ forgotten contributions to settling the American West. When she’s not working at CSP-Sacramento, you will often find her on the back of her saddle-broke Texas longhorn steer, Cowboy Jazz.
Tiburcio Vasquez, an outlaw who plundered Central and Southern California for two decades, may owe his capture to a long forgotten military experiment. This latest installment of Unlocking History looks closer at a failed attempt by the U.S. government to settle the west with camels. It’s also a story about the outlaw who served as the inspiration for “Zorro.”
From the days of the first prison ships, CDCR has adapted to incarcerate females sentenced to state prison. Originally housed at San Quentin State Prison, the Women’s Ward went through many changes until the state’s first female prison was activated in 1933. In honor of Women’s History Month, Inside CDCR takes you inside California’s first women’s prison.
San Quentin State Prison’s early years were rife with escapes, attacks and scandal. In 1858, Governor John B. Weller, Lt. Governor Joseph Walkup and Secretary of State Ferris Forman issued the first Rules for Convicts at the State Prison. The three comprised the original Board of Prison Directors. As part of CDCR’s Time Capsule series, those rules are republished as written and have only been edited for clarity.