Inside CDCR News Blog


Six people wearing masks facing the camera

Nurses at LAC save doctor’s life

Nurses at California State Prison-Los Angeles (LAC) saved a doctor’s life on May 11.


CDCR CCHCS employees wear masks to promote health and saafety.

CDCR/CCHCS faces of safety and health

You are CDCR’s and CCHCS’s face of safety and health. You are our frontline defense. You are the reason we will get through this.

Watch this video salute to all you do.

CDCR, staff honored with State Agency Recognition Awards

CDCR earned honors at the recent 21st annual State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA).

The program honors state departments, small business (SB) and disabled veteran business enterprise (DVBE) advocates, and state leadership for outstanding achievements in the fiscal year 2019-20.

Two military members are shown on flags.

Correctional sergeant honored with banner in city

Wasco State Prison-Reception Center Sgt. Rolando Guillermo was honored on Memorial Day for his service to our country. A banner with his military picture was created and placed on one of the city of Porterville’s street lights noting his service. The Navy member shown to the left is his nephew who is actively serving our country.


Dog stands in conservation camp compound.

Take a closer look at life in a California conservation camp

California’s conservation camp program can trace its roots to the highway camps of the early 1900s. Back then, incarcerated people were put to work building roads through mountains and hills, helping connect rural communities. The tradition of serving communities continues today as incarcerated men and women learn the value of teamwork in one of the state’s fire camps.

Firefighters in full gear stand in a line.

Incarcerated firefighters help protect redwood coastal communities

Eel River Conservation Camp on May 18 hosted 85 incarcerated firefighters from Alder and Parlin Fork camps for what’s called the annual Redwood Coast Fire Preparedness Exercises.

Valley State Prison students look at a video screen.

New class is first inside Valley State Prison leading to a bachelor’s degree

History is being made in Chowchilla. As part of the Youth Offender Rehabilitative Community program at Valley State Prison (VSP) the Valley State Adult School (VSAS), in collaboration with California State University, Fresno (CSUF), launched a “Criminology 120, Juvenile Delinquency” class on April 15.


Six people wearing masks facing the camera

Nurses at LAC save doctor’s life

Nurses at California State Prison-Los Angeles (LAC) saved a doctor’s life on May 11.

Crashed truck with a police vehicle in the background.

Off‑duty Correctional Officer pulls driver from wrecked truck

For Correctional Officer Aaron Leon and his family, what was otherwise a typical Saturday morning quickly turned into a life-saving effort.

A car crash with rubble all around it.

Correctional Officer saves 4 teenage crash victims

Off-duty Correctional Officer Stephen Leach was heading home from California Health Care Facility when he witnessed two cars crash at an intersection. One of the cars careened through a brick wall and into the corner of a home. The officer immediately pulled over, parked his car and rushed to the scene.


Big Sister volunteer Sergeant Melendez wears uniform laughs with smiling little girl.

Sergeant Melendez named Big Sister of the Year

CDCR Sgt. Vanessa Melendez, who volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, has been honored as the Big Sister of the Year. Three years ago, she was matched with A’Vonti.

Man in uniform facing the camera

Calipatria officer outstanding at work, coaching football

Correctional Officer Donnell Washington tackles challenges on- and off-duty with excellent results. The Calipatria State Prison officer continues to add to a 19-year record of service and dedication to his job and the community outside the fence.

Correctional Officer Ronald De Jesus rides the track at the 2020 Fire Police Motocross races.

Correctional Officer takes top honors at 2020 Motocross races

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.


Early female prison staff supervised women at San Quentin, like in this early courtyard image.

Early female prison staff ranged from support to custody

The first female correctional officers were hired to work in California’s male prisons in the early 1970s. But, women have held other positions or supervised incarcerated females for well over 100 years. In honor of Women’s History Month, Inside CDCR takes a closer look at some of the early female staff.

A female correctional sergeant and female cadets.

1987: Department publication highlights need for females in corrections

Revisit this 1987 story originally published in Correction News. — When Daniel J. McCarthy first became a correctional officer in 1949, the California Department of Corrections prohibited women from working inside a prison. In fact, women weren’t even allowed to tour prisons.

Woman sits in an office near flowers.

Inspiring Hope: Female volunteers help incarcerated population

Since establishing the state prison system in the 1850s, good-hearted neighbors have voluntarily stepped inside to help the incarcerated population. Without recognition or fanfare, they’ve improved the lives of countless people living in the state’s penal institutions.