Beyond the Badge

Black History Month spotlight: Monique Williams embraces change

Monique Williams with her mother and daughter.
Acting Captain Monique Williams, right, with her mother, Beverly Williams Hayes, center, and her daughter, Officer J.W. Thomas, left. (Photo taken pre-pandemic.)

Acting Captain Monique Williams has been in state service since 2001, logging more than two decades with the department. She takes on out-of-class assignments, offers support to those in need, and mentors others who’ve joined CDCR.

Change is part of her two-decades long career

Williams has been a CDCR Recruitment Team Member since 2019 and an Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment Ambassador since 2020. Seeing shifts in the way services are delivered in CDCR, she also embraces the Norway Rehabilitation Programming model, serving as the Facility D unit captain since 2020. As a recruitment team member, she’s helping bring in the next round of employees.

Inside CDCR spoke with Williams regarding her career and influences as part of Black History Month.

Three questions with Monique Williams

What is your current position and what is your history with the Department?

Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) is my fourth institution. My current position is out-of-class Facility D Correctional Captain. I’ve also been a faithful Peer Support member since 2010. I’m also a presenter and have guest lectured for CDCR Recruitment at Fresno State University.

My history with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation began in 2001 at Northern California Women’s Facility (NCWF). I transferred to Solano State Prison after NCWF closed. I promoted to Ironwood State Prison in 2003. I’ve been at CCWF since 2008.

In the Department I have held the positions of Correctional Substance Use Counselor, Correctional Officer, out-of-class Correctional Counselor, Correctional Sergeant, Correctional Lieutenant, and out-of-class Correctional Captain.

How does your experience as a Black woman play into your professional life?

My professional life is built upon a strong faith in God given from my diverse background and strong family ties. I live and love from the inside out, unapologetically. This transfers over to my leadership style into my professional life. I eat, sleep, live the personal values, interpersonal convictions, and the Department’s current mission statement to facilitate, bring equity, and provide quality services for excellent outcomes to all those in our care. And we, the CDCR family, share these values.

As we observe Black History Month, what role models have had an effect on you?

To answer this fine question, look into the eyes of the photo provided. In observance of Black History Month, the eyes of my mother, Beverley Wilson Hayes. She’s a community economic developer, has a master’s degree and is a leader, speaker, and wife. Look in the eyes of my daughter, Correctional Officer J.W. Thomas. She’s been at California Health Care Facility since 2014 and is a coach, leader, mother, and wife.

I see my strong current bosses, such as Associate Warden Michael T. Dotson, and my past bosses. I see the business plan my mother drew long ago as we hold three generations of business together in community outreach coaching. And, I see my wonderful husband who is strong yet leads gently. The staff on Facility D are so inspiring. I don’t have to look far for role models, as they are right here with me.

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