Inside CDCR

FEATURED STORIES

Dog sits in passenger seat of car.
CMF staff take in dogs from Paws For Life program

When cases of COVID-19 started spiking at California Medical Facility (CMF) leaders made the painful decision to evacuate the dogs in the Paws For Life (PFL) program. The problem was finding people who could take them on such short notice. The staff at CMF stepped up to re-house the animals.

VIDEOS

Paula discusses her battle with COVID.
CMF psychiatric tech battles to recover from COVID

Please take a moment to watch this short video of Paula Meyer, psychiatric technician at California Medical Facility sharing her story about battling COVID-19.


California Institution for Men aerial view.
CDCR to offer user-friendly scheduling app for video visits

As part of its continued effort to improve the video visiting experience, CDCR will provide a user-friendly app to help friends and family schedule video visits with incarcerated people.

Mule Creek State Prison staff help in the kitchens during quarantine.
With Mule Creek kitchens shorthanded, other staff stepped in to help

When many buildings at Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) went on quarantine in December, Facilities D and E satellite kitchens were left without incarcerated support teams. To fulfill the basic needs of those kitchens, staff from various disciplines stepped up to feed the incarcerated population.

REHABILITATION

California Institution for Men aerial view.
CDCR to offer user-friendly scheduling app for video visits

As part of its continued effort to improve the video visiting experience, CDCR will provide a user-friendly app to help friends and family schedule video visits with incarcerated people.

Dog sits in passenger seat of car.
CMF staff take in dogs from Paws For Life program

When cases of COVID-19 started spiking at California Medical Facility (CMF) leaders made the painful decision to evacuate the dogs in the Paws For Life (PFL) program. The problem was finding people who could take them on such short notice. The staff at CMF stepped up to re-house the animals.

Mule Creek State Prison incarcerated man Michael Kendall looks at a computer screen.
CDCR video visits reconnect families

In this time of COVID restrictions, technology helps families connect with their incarcerated loved ones. Innovation, planning and infrastructure came together to offer video visiting at all 35 CDCR adult institutions by the end of 2020, with plans to bring video visiting to conservation camps early next year. Visiting has always played a vital role in rehabilitation and reintegration.

ABOVE THE CALL

Greg Williams stands in front of a flag.
CCWF employee delays hostage-taker until police arrive

While enjoying a morning at home with his family, Greg Williams soon found himself in a stand-off with a gun-wielding man. Stepping into his garage to retrieve a screwdriver, Williams heard a man calling for help. Making sure his wife and granddaughter were safe, he stepped outside to discover the calls for help was coming from his neighbor.

Correctional Officers Mayfield and Gomez stand in front of a CDCR transport .
CDCR transportation officers help save mom, baby

Two CDCR transportation officers helped save a mom and her baby after a rollover crash. While returning to Valley State Prison during a medical transport, Correctional Officers William Mayfield and G. Gomez saw a car veer off the highway and roll about six times before coming to rest on its roof.

San Quentin Correctional Officer Emmanuall Tyler walks out of the prison.
Off-duty San Quentin Correctional Officer stops carjacker

While on his way home, San Quentin Correctional Officer Emmanuall Tyler came across the scene of an accident. Pulling over, he turned on his hazards, exited his vehicle and began to offer assistance. That’s when he discovered a carjacker had been attempting to get into other vehicles.

BEYOND THE BADGE

Correctional Officer Ronald De Jesus rides the track at the 2020 Fire Police Motocross races.
Correctional Officer takes top honors at 2020 Fire Police Motocross races earlier this year

Not only is Ronald De Jesus passionate about his daily duties as a Correctional Officer at California Health Care Facility (CHCF), he’s also racked up years of wins at motocross events. At just 13, he started racing and still hits the off-road tracks every chance he gets. “I will keep racing until my limbs stop working,” he said.

Jason Anderson holds a bonsai tree.
Nature in miniature helps employee find work/life balance

Lt. Jason Anderson has worked for CDCR for more than two decades. After suffering two strokes, he made a decision to find ways to reduce stress. Inside CDCR caught up with Lt. Anderson to discuss his hobbies and life beyond the badge.

Brian Coates holds a book called A Gladiator's Journey.
Associate Warden writes book to cope with childhood trauma

For more than two decades, Brian Coates has worked for the department. Currently, he’s Associate Warden for CDCR’s Contract Bed Units. Coates recently penned a book, “A Gladiator’s Journey,” and says he’s preparing for the next chapter of his life — retirement.

HISTORY

Prison guard Henry Herrill and his wife along with a photo of Herrill in an early Knights of Pythias uniform.
Early prison guard HC Herrill exemplified community involvement

As part of an ongoing effort to tell the forgotten stories of early prison staff, Inside CDCR takes a closer look at Henry C. Herrill. The California native served as a guard at San Quentin and Folsom prisons, followed by a career as a county deputy constable. Despite devastating personal losses, Herrill volunteered his time to improve the community.

San Quentin social hall in 1919 shows flags and garland.
Revisiting spirit of prison Christmases past

Connecting through shared experiences, especially holidays, is seen as part of the rehabilitation process. Since the early years at California’s prisons, staff have worked with the incarcerated population to observe these special occasions with food, music and events.

Mugshots of 17-year-old Joseph Hoey from San Quentin in 1891.
San Quentin archives: An accountant, a teen and Civil War veteran

In 1891, three incarcerated men sat for their photos, later to become permanent records in the San Quentin archives. Each photograph captures a moment in time. While their faded photos tell a story, we go deeper to explore the paths that led each one to the state’s historic prison.