All Inside CDCR stories

Videos

San Quentin Correctional Officer Emmanuall Tyler walks out of the prison.
Off-duty San Quentin Correctional Officer stops carjacker

While on his way home, San Quentin Correctional Officer Emmanuall Tyler came across the scene of an accident. Pulling over, he turned on his hazards, exited his vehicle and began to offer assistance. That’s when he discovered a carjacker had been attempting to get into other vehicles.

Rehabilitation

Calipatria State Prison staff look at inmate drawn artwork in an art contest.
Calipatria art contest highlights incarcerated population’s creativity

Calipatria State Prison (CAL) incarcerated artists displayed their creativity in a recent contest as part of a rehabilitative program. Mailroom Supervisor Heather Duarte organized the sports-themed art contest for those involved in the handicraft program.

Beyond the Badge

A Pleasant Valley State Prison teacher holds a children's book he wrote.
Pleasant Valley prison teacher pens children’s book

Educator C. Robert Moore found a creative way to balance life with the pressures of work. Using his storytelling talent and decades of teaching experience, Moore wrote a book to help children learn about self-image.

Above the Call

San Quentin Correctional Officer Emmanuall Tyler walks out of the prison.
Off-duty San Quentin Correctional Officer stops carjacker

While on his way home, San Quentin Correctional Officer Emmanuall Tyler came across the scene of an accident. Pulling over, he turned on his hazards, exited his vehicle and began to offer assistance. That’s when he discovered a carjacker had been attempting to get into other vehicles.

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 Secretary Ralph Diaz attends a meeting of the Transgender Housing and Search Workgroup.
Governor Newsom signs Senate Bill 132 to respect gender identity during incarceration

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 132, The Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, legislation that will allow incarcerated transgender, non-binary and intersex people to be housed and searched in a manner consistent with their gender identity. The new law will become effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Community Involvement

North Kern prison staff raises $5,000 for charity

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of North Kern State Prison (NKSP) staff, a check for $5,000 was presented to a local non-profit organization.

On Nov. 2,NKSP Warden Kelly Santoro and Community Resource Manger Danny Espitia presented the check to Alpha House Director Sondra Ryan.

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

Dr. Joseph Bick wears a mask in this video screenshot.
Procedure masks required at CDCR, DJJ facilities

CDCR and CCHCS Executive staff have issued an updated video message to all staff reminding them that mask use is not only imperative for the health of themselves and all those around them, but it is also mandatory and those who do not comply could face disciplinary action. The department now provides and requires the use of procedure (surgical) masks for anyone performing duties on institution grounds, or additional personal protective equipment when required.

Secretary's Corner

Three people pose for a photo, one of them the former associate warden.
Former Secretary Diaz reflects on three decades of public service

CDCR has been the adventure of a lifetime, filled with many memorable moments and interesting people. From going through the academy in Galt to serving as your Secretary in Sacramento, I have learned that when we choose to work for this department, we all strive to do our best day in and day out. It takes commitment and love to do what we do. I have also learned that the most important thing we can do is not stay silent, especially if you have ideas on how we can improve the way we conduct our business.

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

Supervising Cook Barbara Moreau sits at a desk at Pine Grove camp.
Supervising Cook Barbara Moreau keeps crews fed at Pine Grove camp

Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) Correctional Supervising Cook Barbara Moreau helps feed fire crews and those who stay behind to support the camp.

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.

Obituaries

Avenal State Prison Honor Guard members begin folding a flag.
ASP Honor Guard, staff pay tribute to Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez

Avenal State Prison’s (ASP) Honor Guard and staff held a memorial service in front of the prison for Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez, who passed away Aug. 25, 2020. To honor his memory, ASP staff hosted a celebration of life Sept. 10 for his family and coworkers. The decision to hold the ceremony at the prison was driven by the pandemic in order to keep the honor guard safe.

Appointments & Promotions

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility aerial view.
Warden named at Richard J. Donovan

Governor Newsom recently appointed Marcus A. Pollard warden of the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. He has served as acting warden since 2019.

Awards & Recognition

Woman wearing mask holding awards plaque.
CDCR teacher Rachel Whitfield receives Crystal Apple Award

Correctional Academic Instructor Rachel Whitfield has been recognized for her decades of service to education.

Whitfield, employed at Correctional Training Facility (CTF), was awarded the KSBW Crystal Apple Award. Her dedication to stimulating minds and improving students’ lives has contributed to a better community.

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

CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz attends a meeting of the Transgender Housing and Search Workgroup.
Governor Newsom signs Senate Bill 132 to respect gender identity during incarceration

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 132, The Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, legislation that will allow incarcerated transgender, non-binary and intersex people to be housed and searched in a manner consistent with their gender identity. The new law will become effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Firefighters

Michael Gebre fights a fire.
Ventura Training Center cadets return from 2 months on fire line

As wildfires continue to sweep through California, current and past Ventura Training Center (VTC) cadets are doing their part to keep communities safe. On Oct. 14, crews 1 and 2 demobilized after 60 straight days responding to fires. To welcome them back, staff and cadets at VTC lined the entrance, cheering them as they returned.

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.

Sports

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

Woman facing camera
Thanksgiving message from Secretary Allison

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, albeit in a different way than in years past, and as the holiday season begins, I would like to express my gratitude for each and every one of you, our hardworking staff at CDCR and CCHCS, for your tireless work and commitment to our department and to the people we serve.