Community Involvement

CDCR staff go above and beyond to help those in need

Avenal prison staff stand at tables selling baked goods.
Avenal State Prison staff raised funds for the family of one of their recently deceased coworkers.

Across California, CDCR, CCHCS and DJJ staff regularly help those in need.

Avenal prison officer’s family receives donation from coworkers

When Correctional Officer Richard “Nick” Ramos unexpectedly passed away Feb. 15, his Avenal State Prison coworkers rallied to help his family.

The prison’s employee associations and groups reached into their pockets, organized fundraisers and within a week $6,365 to Officer Ramos’ surviving family.

Organizations involved include the prison’s Employee Action Committee, California Correctional Workers Association and the prison’s chapter of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

Submitted by Lt. James Campbell.

Pleasant Valley State Prison Staff Supports Valley Children’s Healthcare

Four people hold an oversized check in front of a giraffe mural.
From left are Bobbie Shimmin, EAC President; Ron Godwin, Warden (A); Maria Faulkner, Chief Deputy Warden (A); and Jeanette Bragg, Community Resource Manager.

Armed with paper cutout hearts and a willing group of volunteers, Community Resource Manager Jeanette Bragg and Bobbi Shimmin, President of the Employee Action Committee, hosted a fundraiser benefiting Valley Children’s Healthcare in Madera.

Staff volunteers, with encouragement from acting Warden Ron Godwin and acting Chief Deputy Warden Maria Faulkner, asked donors to purchase spots for George the Giraffe, Valley Children’s mascot.

As one of the largest healthcare networks in the nation, the hospital staff are dedicated to providing medical services for our youngest citizens in the Central Valley. As their slogan states, they are “Futures Worth Fighting For.”

In the first 12 days of March, the team raised $1,040 for Valley Children’s Healthcare, giving George his spots.

To learn more about Valley Children’s Healthcare, visit

Submitted by Lt. Alex Avila.

SATF donates over $8,000 to safe house

Prison staff present check to woman.
CRM Ricky Dela Cruz, center left, presents a check to Tiffany Apodaca on behalf of SATF. Chief Deputy Warden (A) Aaron Shimmin, front left, and Warden (A) Theresa Cisneros, front right, join other staff for the presentation.

On, April 27, Leadership at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) and State Prison presented a check for $8,084.89 to Tiffany Apodaca, co-founder and Chief Operational Officer of Breaking The Chains (BTC). The organization recently opened another safe house in January 2021 in Parlier. She said since there are more minors coming into their system, the donation will help.

The funds were raised through a food sale with the incarcerated population. Donations made to nonprofit groups from the food sales are selected by votes from the Inmate Activity Groups involved.

“We at SATF are thrilled to make this donation to such a great organization that helps so many people in need within our community,” said Warden (A) Theresa Cisneros.

Learn more about BTC.

Submitted by Lt. Brent Urban.

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