COVID-19, Inside CDCR Video

Message to staff from CDCR Secretary Diaz

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.

As we continue our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, know that your health and safety is a top priority, just as is the health and safety of our incarcerated population. There are many questions and I will do my best to keep you updated, starting with this first video message. Please forgive the production quality – just like you, we are using the resources we have available while limiting contact with others. It felt imperative to reach out as the leader of this Agency and speak directly to you immediately, but expect to see additional, higher-quality, videos in the future.

Thank you for all you do. We will get through this, and we will succeed, because of your hard work.

With gratitude and respect,

Secretary, CDCR


Hello, I’m Ralph Diaz, Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. I wanted to come and speak to you directly. I know many of you’ve been watching a lot of news, reading a lot of newspapers, receiving a lot of information, but none of it really pertains to you directly as an employee of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

We work in a very unique environment. You do services and provide services to a population that many would not. And for that, I want to thank you. Many people would not come in and do what you’re doing as you watch this and I appreciate you, but I do want to say that many of the decisions that we have made, we’ve been making it from the perspective of your health in mind, but also with your duty to provide the service that you chose to do. And I appreciate that. I don’t take it lightly. I have loved ones that work in the same institutions that you do. I have friends that work in the same institutions that you may work. And they’re near and dear to me just as much as you are.

But I do want to say the duty to this Department hasn’t hasn’t gone unnoticed, not only by myself, but the Governor, the administration, and others around the nation have asked: How is California able to keep control? How are they able to do what they’re doing? And everything that I’ve told them is because of the work that you do.

I’m going to ask though that you be patient, be patient with information that you receive or not receive. Communicate. Communicate to supervisors and managers if you have a question. But I do have to say we’ve done many “first ofs” – telework, the ATO, the redirects, everything we’re doing, many of it was a first. There’s no guidebook, no reference to go back to. These are “first ofs” and we’ve made them with the best of intentions at heart, not to exclude, but to ensure that we’re providing the service to the population that we need to serve. Because the reality is the individuals in our care, they’re going to be going home regardless of COVID or not. And I want to make sure that we’re sending inmates out back into the community as healthy as you and I are, because what we don’t want to do is infect the community.

And the only way to do that properly is with your hard work, with your attention to detail, with your communicating with your staff and in turn, taking care of yourself. Take care of yourself, take care of your family, take care of your loved ones. Look after your neighbor. We’re in different times and we’re going to be in these times for quite some time.

But in the end, we’re going to get through it. And I believe when it’s all over, we’re all going to be better for it because we’re going to know each other little bit better. We’re going to appreciate what we did when it’s all over. I look forward to talking to you again in the near future with an update, but this is the first go-around with the video.

I just want to say thank you. Take care.

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