Beyond the Badge

Associate Warden Glucksman retires after 27‑year career

Says CDCR offers advancement, location options, benefits

After 27 years of helping fulfill CDCR’s mission, Associate Warden Donald Glucksman is looking forward to the next chapter: retirement.

Donald Glucksman in uniform in front of US and California flag.
Associate Warden Donald Glucksman is retiring after 27 years with CDCR.

Beginning his career in 1995 as a Correctional Officer at California Institution for Men (CIM), he then helped activate Salinas Valley State Prison the following year.

In 1998, he promoted to sergeant at CIM, also accepting out-of-class assignments as a correctional counselor.

He promoted to lieutenant at California Rehabilitation Center in 2004, serving as facility lieutenant, watch commander, Patton State Hospital Commander, and In-Service Training Manager. Again, he took on out-of-class assignments including working as a facility captain.

In 2010, he transferred to Enterprise Information Services as a SOMS lieutenant, but then promoted to facility captain at California Institution for Women (CIW).

In his new role, he oversaw Forestry and Fire Camp Operations, as well as CIW’s three wildland fire camps.

Glucksman promoted to correctional administrator at CIW in 2014, retiring in 2022.

Inside CDCR caught up with Glucksman to discuss his long career and the changes he’s seen in the department.

Q&A with Donald Glucksman, Associate Warden

Why did you choose to join the department?

Selection of assignment location was the primary factor in my choosing a career with CDCR. I needed to work closer to my residence, and CDCR offered the flexibility of such assignment. Persons seeking a new career should take into consideration what CDCR has to offer in regards to the ability for assignments in all regions of California.

What is a memorable moment for you during your career?

There have been many, but one that stands out in my mind is receiving a letter of commendation from CDCR Director Edward S. Alameida Jr., for an incident on August 4, 2001, at the California Institution for Men, Main Front Gate. I arrested a deranged civilian at gunpoint. The civilian drove over the median at high speed and then exited his vehicle, charging the front gate while pointing what appeared to be a handgun at the gate house. The suspect was taken into custody by the Chino Police Department

Have you had any mentors that helped you along the way and how did they help you?

Throughout my career, I have had the good fortune to work with superiors and peers, with experience and insight to lead and guide me through each step of my upward mobility. I am appreciative of the guidance and mentorship provided to me by these people, and have shared what I have learned with my colleagues who like me, seek guidance on how to have a successful and fulfilling career in CDCR. 

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen over the course of your career?

Experiencing the evolution in technology from 1995 to present, I can state the Department has come a long way from where we were. When I started, we had green-screen computers on 9,600-baud local area networks. There was no email, and the use of instant Polaroid cameras was the norm for crime scene evidence photos. Today, we run on a Department-wide network server, with global email, while digital video body-worn cameras capture incidents in progress.

What is a common misconception about people who work for CDCR?

While some people may still have unique conceptions about persons who choose to work in a “prison,” I believe formerly common misconceptions about CDCR employees have diminished. That’s all thanks to CDCR’s presence in the public and social media, and positive stories about CDCR’s diverse workforce and rehabilitative programs. Today, CDCR employs multiple disciplines, well beyond traditional custody roles. Our full immersion into health care service, mental health, community reentry, education and other programs is well known.

What advice would offer someone who is considering a career with CDCR?

Start now. Find out where and how to apply, and do it. Create a CAL HR account online and enroll in email alerts for classifications you are interested in. Be mindful of the opportunity CDCR offers for assignments statewide, and promotional opportunities to take you as far as you want to go.

Once on board, come to work on time, do state work, go home, and participate in the Savings Plus program early to reap rewards of a large nest egg of savings for retirement in addition to your pension.

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor

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