All Inside CDCR stories

A Day in the Life

Woman smiles at camera while other photos shows aerial view of a prison and Folsom Lake.

Correctional Business Manager keeps institution running

Since 2006, Sarah Shepherd has charted a unique career path, now serving as Correctional Business Manager at California State Prison, Sacramento. Someone unfamiliar with the job classification may think it is solely about number crunching. To reach her current position, Shepherd has gained experience working in different areas of the department, ranging from parole to the Division of Adult Institutions.

Above the Call

World champion belt and two men at Pelican Bay State Prison.

World Champion inspires Pelican Bay incarcerated population

When a World Champion walks into Pelican Bay State Prison, the incarcerated population is ready to receive some wisdom. That’s what happened July 2 when mixed martial artist (MMA) Juan Archuleta visited the prison with Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) life coaches Mark Taylor and Joseph Osorio.

Appointments & Promotions

California capitol building.

Governor appoints three to key CDCR posts

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the following appointments on April 14: Katie James as Chief of the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services; Giselle “Gigi” A. Matteson as Warden at California State Prison, Solano; and Matthew Atchley as Warden at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Awards & Appreciation

Honor Guard with city skyline in background.

MCSP Honor Guard attends Correctional Peace Officers Foundation event

The Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) Honor Guard recently attended the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) 2021 Project 2000 XXXII in Columbus, Ohio, from June 24-27.

Beyond the Badge

first place medals and two prison staff members.

Two Solano staff take first place at US Police and Fire Championships

When it comes to shooting hoops, two CSP-Solano staff members slam-dunked a first-place win at the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.

CALPIA

CALPIA soft skills training participants and officials stand in Folsom prison.

CALPIA launches soft skills training for incarcerated individuals

The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) plans to expand soft skills training to incarcerated individuals in its programs after the end of a successful Essential Skills for the Workforce (ESW) pilot program. The ESW program introduces life and professional skills necessary to be successful in the workplace such as communication, enthusiasm and positive attitude, teamwork, networking, leadership, problem-solving, critical-thinking, conflict resolution, workplace ethics, creative thinking, time management, and flexibility and adaptability.

CDCR Time Capsule

A female correctional sergeant and female cadets.

1987: Department publication highlights need for females in corrections

Revisit this 1987 story originally published in Correction News. — When Daniel J. McCarthy first became a correctional officer in 1949, the California Department of Corrections prohibited women from working inside a prison. In fact, women weren’t even allowed to tour prisons.

Community Involvement

Honor Guard with city skyline in background.

MCSP Honor Guard attends Correctional Peace Officers Foundation event

The Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) Honor Guard recently attended the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) 2021 Project 2000 XXXII in Columbus, Ohio, from June 24-27.

DAPO

Badge emblem says State Parole Agent California.

DAPO leaders encourage staff to Be Well

Recognizing staff health is vital to fulfilling the mission at DAPO, they’ve created and launched the “Be Well” program. One of the new guiding principles for DAPO highlights the importance of the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of DAPO staff. Innovative and staff-centered programs and services have been initiated or are in development.

Division of Juvenile Justice

Man speaks from lectern at DJJ graduations while others are gathered on a stage.

DJJ high school graduations: Time for reflection, accomplishment and hope

In June, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) held graduations at each of its high schools, awarding 124 diplomas and 23 GEDs.

Dog News

Incarcerated man kneeling next to a dog.

Therapy dog graduates from Mule Creek State Prison

When the team at Paws For Life (PFL) K9 Rescue met Burnett at a South L.A. Animal Shelter, they knew he was destined for great things.

But PFL never imagined this. Recently Burnett was placed as a certified PFL therapy dog with the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, Fire Crew No. 2.

Employee Health & Wellness

Woman facing camera leaning against brick post.

CDCR employee advocates for domestic violence victims

CDCR employee Roberta Sanchez was appointed this year to the Voices for Victims Coalition.

Inside CDCR recently sat down with her for an interview about her experiences and goals.

Firefighters

Dog stands in conservation camp compound.

Take a closer look at life in a California conservation camp

California’s conservation camp program can trace its roots to the highway camps of the early 1900s. Back then, incarcerated people were put to work building roads through mountains and hills, helping connect rural communities. The tradition of serving communities continues today as incarcerated men and women learn the value of teamwork in one of the state’s fire camps.

Inside CDCR Videos

Woman presents plaque to a judge wearing robes.

CDCR, Kern County celebrate video court successes

CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison, Wardens from prisons in Kern County, and local judicial leadership gathered in Delano recently to celebrate the successes of an initiative that saves taxpayers money and improves public safety.

Jobs & Training

Two men stand in front of a banner for Command College.

First two CDCR staff members graduate Command College

CDCR and the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) have partnered to provide opportunities to send CDCR staff to POST Law Enforcement Command College (LECC).

Obituaries

Woman sitting at desk with California seal in the background.

Retired CCWF Warden Celestine ‘Teena’ Farmon passes away

Spanning a correctional career of more than three decades, retired Warden Celestine ‘Teena’ Farmon passed away July 18, 2021.

Prison Health Care

Prison artist poster contest winner and two staff members with a certificate.

Pleasant Valley prison incarcerated artist wins poster contest

Pleasant Valley State Prison held a poster contest to encourage people get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to prison officials, there were many worthy entries but the work by incarcerated artist Jose Robles came out on top.

Rehabilitation

World champion belt and two men at Pelican Bay State Prison.

World Champion inspires Pelican Bay incarcerated population

When a World Champion walks into Pelican Bay State Prison, the incarcerated population is ready to receive some wisdom. That’s what happened July 2 when mixed martial artist (MMA) Juan Archuleta visited the prison with Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) life coaches Mark Taylor and Joseph Osorio.

Secretary's Corner

Heroes work here sign with the CDCR logo and an American flag.

Secretary, Receiver thank staff for their dedication to public service

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.

Sports

first place medals and two prison staff members.

Two Solano staff take first place at US Police and Fire Championships

When it comes to shooting hoops, two CSP-Solano staff members slam-dunked a first-place win at the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.

Other stories

A decorated cake has the words Happy 245th Birthday Marine Corps.

Avenal prison staff honor Veterans Day, Marine Corps birthday with cakes

Avenal State Prison Correctional Lt. and former Marine John Mendiboure continued an annual tradition of honoring the institutions’ veterans by holding a cake-cutting ceremony in the snack bar.

Unlocking History

Woman sitting at desk with California seal in the background.

Retired CCWF Warden Celestine ‘Teena’ Farmon passes away

Spanning a correctional career of more than three decades, retired Warden Celestine ‘Teena’ Farmon passed away July 18, 2021.

Victim & Survivor Rights

Woman facing camera leaning against brick post.

CDCR employee advocates for domestic violence victims

CDCR employee Roberta Sanchez was appointed this year to the Voices for Victims Coalition.

Inside CDCR recently sat down with her for an interview about her experiences and goals.