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CDCR launches ‘Unlocked’ podcast

Unlocked podcast equipment
The new podcast is launching this month.

CDCR is taking a new step to better educate its staff and their families through the CDCR Unlocked podcast.

The podcast features episodes from the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP), Office of Public and Employee Communications (OPEC), and Peace Officer Selection and Development (POSED). They have been working separately to start podcasts in their respective areas. This model allows the podcast to reach a diverse audience such as current, retired, and potential employees and their families as well as incarcerated people’s families and loved ones. The podcast also informs community members interested in learning more about the Department.

The first episode, “The New Normal,” features a conversation with all three CDCR undersecretaries about reopening state prisons and offices after the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion includes Undersecretaries Jennifer Barretto, administration; Jeffrey Macomber, operation; and Dr. Diana Toche, health care services. It’s available now.

Wellness is focus of July 14 CDCR Unlocked podcast

The July 14 CDCR Unlocked podcast will feature Dr. Briana Rojas, Kathryn Jue, and Officer Jonathan Wilson from CDCR’s Office of Employee Wellness. 

Mental health and wellness is a huge part of the department. That’s why CDCR is committed to making every effort possible to assist staff and their families with mental health.

Topics included:

  • CDCR Wellness app
  • Peer Support Program
  • Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Services program
  • and a variety of other services available to all staff, their families, and retired staff.

Podcast grew from classroom

Corey Ringer, Correctional Sergeant with the Advanced Learning Institute, said the podcast expands on a wellness class he taught.

“The original idea to help families understand what goes on in the working lives of their staff members started with classes I taught at Folsom State Prison. The classes were based on employee health and wellness, but it always felt like a key component was missing – the families and friends,” he said. “The support received from families and friends is vital to helping staff handle the stressors of this line of work. In person classes at FSP were just about setup when COVID-19 entered our lives and stopped the classes from happening.”

The podcast became a way to continue the outreach program. 

“I didn’t want it to stop us from reaching out so a Podcast became the best option. Now we can reach anywhere in the world and get our stories out there to give the family members a better picture of what life is like when we are inside those walls. My overall goal is healthier staff, not just physically, but most importantly their mental health. I look forward to episodes where we dive into the complexities of this profession from inside the prisons to all departments outside the walls.”

What is the podcast?

CDCR Unlocked focuses on topics such as rehabilitation and reentry, peace officer recruitment, employee wellness and criminal justice. It will also feature interviews with and profiles of CDCR executives, administrators, staff, incarcerated people, volunteers and community partners.

Why do a podcast?

CDCR has many stakeholders including employees, victims of crime and their families, community- and faith-based organizations, law enforcement partners, legislators and other elected officials, and incarcerated people and their loved ones. CDCR’s platforms for communicating with the public include newsletters, press releases, working with the news media, and digital assets like the CDCR website and social media. This podcast enhances the Department’s efforts to be transparent and build public trust.

What’s in a name?

The name “CDCR Unlocked” was chosen from more than 250 entries in a naming competition among CDCR and CCHCS employees. The winning name was submitted by Robert Miller, a Supervising Case Records Technician in the Division of Adult Institutions.


See more stories highlighting CDCR/CCHCS staff.

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