Awards and Appreciation, Secretary's Corner

Secretary, Receiver thank staff for their dedication to public service

Heroes work here sign with the CDCR logo and an American flag.
A sign at SATF declares "heroes work here."

As we enter the month of May, and reflect on the year behind us and the one before us, we wanted to send a collective thank you to all of our incredible staff across the state. Whether you are in one of our 35 prisons, working in a parole office, in DJJ, in a field office, or in headquarters, thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your dedication and for serving the people of our great state, your communities, and your families with love and unwavering commitment, even as we faced the biggest health crisis our world has seen in a century.

May is a month for honoring all staff

This month honors various professions across our nation, including National Correctional Officers Week (May 2-8), National Nurses Week (May 6-12), National Teacher Day (May 4), Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week (May 3-7), International Firefighters’ Day (May 4), and Public Service Recognition Week (May 2-8).

Only in a field as diverse as Corrections would we be able to honor so many professions at once. Only in a field as dynamic as Corrections would we all work together to achieve a common goal. You all make our department and our state a better and a safer place; your hard work does not go unnoticed and when you leave to go home every day, many of you contribute to your communities by volunteering and giving your time outside of CDCR. There is no greater honor and no greater challenge than to be in the service of others.

Correctional Officers are foundation of CDCR

To our incredible Correctional Officers, you are the backbone of COCR. Every task you do keeps institutions safe. You are sworn to protect public safety at any time and any place when the peace is threatened. Yet you also have the power to influence people and change lives, making sure people get to their rehabilitative and educational classes, or medical appointments. You risk your life, and you save lives. As officers, you are never truly “off-duty.” Throughout the pandemic, you have kept our population safe, and adapted and responded to any situation.

Nursing, education, fire service staff are appreciated

To our outstanding Nursing staff, thank you for all you do, not only during a global pandemic, but always. You are here, every day, keeping patients safe and comfortable in uncertain times. The compassion, optimism, and expertise you offer make the world better for your patients and co-workers.

To our Educators, you give your students something invaluable regardless of age or place, their education. You inspire and energize, even when students are unable to get together in the classroom. Your outside-the-box thinking during the pandemic meant that even a shift to in-cell and distance learning couldn’t slow the momentum building for education in our institutions.

To our Fire Service professionals — whether you are working at a fire camp, institutional firehouse, or Headquarters — you are the ones who run into the fire instead of away from it. We rest a bit easier each night knowing you are there to protect us not only in our workplaces, but also by providing essential services to the community.

Moreover, to all of our public service employees, thank you. We are honored to work with you and to celebrate your dedication and commitment. This month and always, let us celebrate your accomplishments, remember your sacrifices, and honor one another. This year more than ever before, we have seen a department that has come together to meet the challenges our department has faced due to the pandemic. Even now, as we embark on the path toward reopening and normalcy, our jobs are far from done. There is no higher calling in terms of a career than public service, which you all do, because we have the duty and the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world around you.

By Kathleen Allison, Secretary, CDCR, and J. Clark Kelso, Receiver, CCHCS.