Awards and Appreciation, Division of Adult Parole Operations

CDCR parole staff recognized for reentry work

Parole staff recognized for their reentry efforts stand on a stage.
From left are Director Jason Johnson, Yolanda Talwar, Parole Administrator Raj Talwar, Chief Deputy Regional Administrator Carey Haidl, Parole Administrator Dominique Hughes, and Chief Deputy Regional Administrator Sabrina Williams.

ONTARIO – The California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association (CPPCA) recognized CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) staff for their work in helping formerly incarcerated people successfully reenter communities and enhancing public safety.

Parole staff were recognized in three categories at CPPCA’s annual awards ceremony on Sept. 6.

“I’m proud of the honorees for their hard work and dedication to supporting our mission to enhance public safety by building partnerships that help lead to successful reintegration,” said DAPO Director Jason Johnson. “It’s gratifying to have our parole professionals’ significant contributions as a force for positive change recognized.”

(Watch the awards ceremony video.)

John B. Clark award goes to DAPO South Coast District

DAPO’s South Coast District, led by Parole Administrator Rajesh Talwar, received the John B. Clark award for outstanding contributions to the field of corrections. Staff at DAPO’s South Coast District, which covers Orange County, were recognized for their effective engagement with formerly incarcerated people and connecting them with community partners and resources to help ensure their successful reentry into the community.

“I have the privilege of working with the most innovative, passionate and determined group of individuals who constantly provide the highest level of support and service to the clients we serve and the community we protect,” Talwar said. “The professionals I work with every day make a positive impact for the community, without recognition. To be recognized amongst our peers, there are no words that can describe the admiration.”

Ruth Rushen award goes to Agent Ricardo Bautista

Parole Agent Ricardo Bautista earned the Ruth Rushen Award. This is awarded to a person working in CDCR who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication, and who has also significantly contributed to make a difference in the field of corrections. In 1980, Rushen became the first woman and first African American to serve as department director. Bautista was honored for his contributions and leadership throughout the unprecedented challenges faced by CDCR during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bautista, based in Sacramento and currently assigned to the Community Transition Program, played an integral role in the implementation and oversight of the Project Hope (PH) program, which was created to protect individuals released from prison during the pandemic and the California communities where they were returning.

This voluntary initiative provided free hotel accommodations, transportation and meals to individuals released from state prison who needed to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure or positive status. With Bautista’s leadership and guidance on the day-to-day operations, the PH team served approximately 2,300 individuals returning to the community.

“It’s always an honor to receive any type of positive recognition, but I really accept this award on behalf of everyone who was involved in the Project Hope Program,” Bautista said. “We had a great team who put in endless hours to ensure its successful operation.”

Juan Rendon named Parole Agent of the Year

Central District Parole Agent Juan Rendon was named Parole Agent of the Year. This honor is awarded to a state or county parole agent who works with adults or juveniles who has made a significant contribution to the field of corrections and/or has exhibited exemplary job performance.

Rendon has made a difference in the community through his willingness and ability to network with community programs and facilitators. His efforts include helping establish a community partnership with UEI College in Fresno. This has resulted in UEI representatives participating in Parole and Community Team orientation meetings. At the meetings, they successfully enrolled recently released paroled individuals into a UEI certification program. Rendon has also represented CDCR and DAPO at career days at local elementary schools.

“Most people say their job has been done if they knew they at least made a difference in one person’s life,” Rendon said. “I strive to make a difference and positive impact on as many as I can throughout my career.”

CPPCA held the ceremony as part of its 90th annual training conference.

CPPCA is the only organization in the state representing adult and juvenile, state and local, field and institutional corrections professionals. The organization also serves those interested in the professionalism of corrections.

Learn more about CPPCA.

Ruth Rushen’s story was covered in this 2015 history piece.

See more awards and appreciation stories.

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