Community Involvement

CDCR staff, inmates help guide at‑risk youth

Men and women stand at a college campus.
CDCR staff spoke to youth at Woodland Community College.

By Division of Adult Institutions staff

Staff from the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI), Headquarters and Folsom State Prison (FSP) participated in the “My Future Starts with Me” conference held at Woodland Community College on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The conference was hosted by Friends Care, a nonprofit organization providing prevention for at-risk youth and children of incarcerated parents. Folsom State Prison Warden Rick Hill and Ernie Valencia, public information officer for the prison, led the  workshop “Choices have Consequences,” giving inmates a chance to speak to the youth.

Inmates housed at Folsom State Prison and Folsom Women’s Facility had the opportunity to share their stories with  the youth via a live closed-circuit television. The offenders gave youth advice on not making the same mistakes that leads to prison. The youth were encouraged to ask questions.

Folsom State Prison Investigative Services Unit also hosted a Gang Awareness Workshop led by Lt. Emily Castro, Sgt. Jason Pagan and Correctional Officer Lindsey Schroeder. 

The final workshop was organized by Sonia Mercado. Capt. Patrice Davis served as the moderator and the panel consisted of  honorable Judge Steven Basha, DAI Director Connie Gipson, Warden Hill  and Valencia. Students had the opportunity to ask the panel questions which varied from questions about their childhood to questions about their current roles within the department.

Three men and a woman sit at a table in front of youth.
The final panel featured Judge Stephen Basha, DAI Director Connie Gipson, Folsom Prison Warden Rick Hill and Lt. Ernie Valencia. It was moderated by Capt. Patrice Davis.