All Inside CDCR stories


People serve food in a chow line. At right is a photo of a correctional lieutenant.
Lt. Douglas Crenshaw leaves rehabilitative legacy at Avenal State Prison

The goal of rehabilitation is to help inmates stop being prisoners of their past and become architects of their future. This philosophy resonated with Correctional Lt. Douglas Crenshaw. In his nearly 25 years at Avenal State Prison (ASP), Lt. Crenshaw built programs, adding a variety of rehabilitative components geared toward changing the hearts, minds, and behaviors of the inmate population.


A table with a sign that says "You did it! Way to go!"
Salinas Valley State Prison celebrates with physically distant graduations

COVID-19 could not stop the acknowledgment of so much growth at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP). For those students graduating in 2020, ceremonies needed to be adjusted to ensure health guidelines were followed.

Beyond the Badge

Bearded man wearing a hat.
CDCR employee records ‘Scary Stories to Keep You Six Feet Apart’

CDCR employees have sewn masks, donated personal protective equipment to hospitals and assisted non-profit organizations struggling during the pandemic. When a CSP-Corcoran TV Specialist wanted to help, he turned on his camera and got creative. To help reinforce physical distancing, Television Specialist Hugh M. Neely is crafting a web series called “Spooky Stories …to Keep You Six feet Apart.”

Above the Call

An officer puts handcuffs on a man.
Alert Parole Agent links high-risk parolee to sex crime

Sex-Offender Parole Agent Javier Cosme has a tough beat supervising high-risk sex offenders in the community. Mandated to wear GPS tracking devices on their ankles, these offenders are closely monitored.

Dog News

Closeup photo of puppies born in a prison.
Puppy Love: Patches safely delivers nine pups at RJD

Christmas arrived early this year for the staff and inmates at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility’s (RJD) dog-training program with the birth of nine wiggly and warm puppies. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Patches, a black Labrador retriever, delivered a litter of nine pups at RJD’s Minimum Support Facility.

Law Enforcement Operations

CDCR Parole, Special Services Unit agents assist in fentanyl take-down

CDCR parole and Special Services Unit agents assisted numerous federal, state, city and county agencies shutdown a deadly fentanyl distribution ring.

Community Involvement

A man hands a check to a woman while two others look on.
Charities benefit from Ironwood State Prison’s generosity

As area nonprofits continue to face challenges imposed by COVID-19, inmates and leadership at Ironwood State Prison (ISP) took the initiative to deliver needed support to three of Blythe’s nonprofit organizations.

A Day in the Life

Woman wears cowboy hat, pink tie and sunglasses.
CDCR’s plant operations keep institutions running

Every day, CDCR and CCHCS employees maintain public safety through incarceration, supervision and rehabilitation. To accomplish these goals, staff require functioning infrastructure. That infrastructure is kept running thanks to the efforts of those working in plant operations. Plants operations is a vital part of the state prison system, according to Avenal Correctional Plant Manager Catherine Lowas.

Jobs and Training

A collage shows a lock, a W-2 and note that says "pay day." Underneath are the words Cal Employee Connect.
Earnings statements, leave balances now available online through Cal Employee Connect

With more of our interactions becoming virtual, state employees now have the ability to check their leave and earning statements online through Cal Employee Connect (CEC). This secure web-based self-service portal is available to California state employees.

Secretary's Corner

female and male correctional officer uniforms.
Now is the time to not be silent

“Since mid-March CDCR and the nation have been nothing like ‘normal program,’ and I ask myself: Will we ever return to normal? Rather than attempt to find ways to make the normal we are all familiar with fit into the new realities, I have to be honest: I am looking forward to not going back to normal program. This pandemic followed by the national attention on law enforcement reform have thrust us into the perfect moment to recraft this great agency once again. This is not the time for yearning for the good old days – and need I remind you, those days were only 90 days ago. If we do not put thought into action and start this recrafting of CDCR for the better, others will.” — Secretary Ralph Diaz

CDCR Time Capsule

Five mugshots of three men and two women.
By the numbers: History of the inmate numbering system

A mid-1990s report penned by San Quentin Associate Warden Dick Nelson looks closer at the inmate identification numbering system and how it got started in California. Some who have been assigned numbers include stagecoach bandits Black Bart, Rattlesnake Dick and Charley Dorsey. Inside CDCR revisits Nelson’s report to put the number system into context.

Unlocking History

A stamped piece of copper shows a cartoon character wearing a baseball uniform. In the background is an areal photo of Folsom Prison.
Behind the Photo: San Francisco Giants artwork was crafted at Folsom Prison

A piece of art came to Inside CDCR’s attention. Originally believed to have been purchased at a San Francisco art show, the item turned out to be the work of an inmate artist in Folsom State Prison.

Division of Juvenile Justice

A photo of bags being delivered as two women and one man pose for a photograph.
DJJ alumnus earns honorable discharge, gives back through charity

Hilarry White believes passionately in the power of giving back. Reflecting about his work at the non-profit outreach program, Women of Substance and Men of Honor (WOSMOH) in Newbury Park, he concludes, “That’s the most fulfilling thing: giving back, doing something that matters at the end of the day. I don’t want to get into anything that doesn’t matter.”

Employee Health & Wellness

Three woman stand behind a table of food.
CCWF staff raises awareness to prevent suicides

As part of Suicide Prevention Week at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) staff are bringing awareness to suicide and suicide prevention by providing informational handouts from local mental health and suicide prevention agencies.


Grainy photo of man.
Henry Miranda

Retired Correctional Officer Henry Miranda passed away July 29, 2020.

Two photos of man in uniform, one of them when he was younger. A third photo shows him at home wearing a blue shirt.
Centinela prison mourns passing of Correctional Officer Henry Sanchez

Since 1994, Correctional Officer Henry Sanchez had been a calming influence, offering words of advice to fellow employees at Centinela State Prison (CEN). On July 24, 2020, those words fell silent. Sanchez passed away, leaving family, friends and coworkers to remember him.

Appointments & Promotions

Man smiles while standing in front of a CDCR logo and California state flag.
Governor appoints William ‘Joe’ Sullivan to Board of Parole Hearings

On Aug. 27, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of William “Joe” Sullivan to the Board of Parole Hearings. Sullivan began his CDCR career at California Rehabilitation Center in 1984 and went on to work at CCI, Preston, CSP-LAC and headquarters.

Awards & Recognition

Medal of Valor loog.
CDCR honors employees at 35th annual Medal of Valor Ceremony

CDCR honored 98 employees today at its 2020 Medal of Valor Ceremony for their bravery in responding to life-threatening situations in the line of duty and in the community as well as exemplary work benefiting the department and the public.

California Prison Industry Authority

Female inmates and others pose with large oversized checks.
Offenders give back to crime victims’ groups through CALPIA’s Joint and Free Venture Programs

CDCR inmates who participate in California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) programs are giving back to various crime victims’ support groups throughout the state for a total of more than $74,000. The money comes from offenders participating in CALPIA’s Joint or Free Venture Programs at five California institutions.

Division of Adult Parole Operations

Badge logo with words State Parole Agent California.
Parole agents help parolees navigate reentry with video meetings

To minimize social contact and avoid the spread of COVID-19, the Northern Region Adult Program Unit (APU) began holding Peer Reentry Navigation Network (PRNN) meetings on Zoom.


Firefighters walk along a dirt road while a fire burns on one side.
CDCR firefighters battle wildfires across California

CDCR’s firefighting personnel joined other agencies to battle wildfires raging across California. Fire camps, institution fire departments and other CDCR staff coordinated efforts with CAL FIRE, California Office of Emergency Services, California State Parks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, federal agencies, out-of-state fire fighters, municipal fire departments and fire crews from other nations.

Prison Health Care

Incarcerated people wear face coverings during pandemic.
In this together: Insights, best practices for wearing masks

Incarcerated people serving on the Inmate Advisory Councils at several CDCR prisons share their reasons for wearing cloth facial barriers.

Victims & Survivors

Individual using computer keyboard
CDCR’s Victim and Survivor Rights and Services enhances communication

CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) announced a new online service. Beginning July 27, victims and family members will be able to chat and directly instant message an OVSRS Victim Advocate to check the status of their case.


Female officers stand at attention while holding flags.
CIW Honor Guard presents colors at Clippers vs Kings game

On Jan. 30, the California Institution for Women (CIW) Honor Guard participated in presenting the flags for the National Anthem during opening ceremonies at the Staples Center for the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Sacramento Kings game. The center was full as it was also a memorial for the nine lives lost in the helicopter crash. Two of those killed were retired basketball player Kobe Bryant and his young daughter.

Other stories

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility aerial view.
Inmate attack on Correctional Officers at RJ Donovan Correctional Facility under investigation

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) authorities are investigating an inmate attack on six correctional officers and those involved could face charges of attempted murder of a peace officer.