Thursday, September 22, 2016

Governor, hundreds turn out to honor CDCR’s finest

(Editor’s note: Medal of Valor photos are availabe at
This site may not be available from a CDCR computer.)
By Krissi Khokhobashvili, CDCR Public Information Officer II
Photos by Eric Owens, CDCR Staff Photographer
and, Terry Thornton, Deputy Press Secretary
Office of Public and Employee Communications

There was no denying the pride in CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan’s face as he looked out over a room full of corrections employees and their families, gathered to honor their achievements and bravery at the 31st annual Medal of Valor ceremony.

“We have 60,000 employees, 29,000 of them sworn peace officers, and we’re here today to recognize them for heroic events both in prison and off duty,” Kernan said. “I would like to express my gratitude for all the dedicated women and men who serve our department. They exemplify a commitment to selfless service day in and day out.”

One by one, 125 CDCR employees from parole units, fire camps, training centers, headquarters and 21 correctional institutions accepted awards for deeds ranging from rendering aid during harrowing vehicle crashes and confronting dangerous assailants to saving the lives of inmates and staff during dangerous incidents inside state prisons.

Joining the department in congratulating the honorees was Gov. Jerry Brown, who came to the ceremony at Creekside Christian Church in Elk Grove to thank staff for their service.

“At the end of the day, the strength of a society is not its money, or its elections, much less its elected officials,” said Gov. Jerry Brown, who attended the ceremony. “It’s the people, their character, their virtue, and how they treat themselves, their families and their neighbors, and who are strengthening our state and country by what they’ve done. They go above and beyond the call of duty and act in a way that is profoundly humane and gives edification and inspiration to everyone else who hears about it or sees it.”
This year’s honorees included custody staff, parole agents, analysts, educators and medical professionals. Two correctional officers received the Medal of Valor, which is the department’s highest honor, reserved for employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service, displaying great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril without jeopardizing the lives of others.

Correctional Officer Jaymi Appleberry certainly fits the bill. Attacked by an armed man while off duty, Appleberry put her training into lightning-fast action, managing to get her friend away from the assailant and disarm him, even while the gun fired twice. When the attacker tried to run after her, she turned the weapon on him, causing him to flee. Appleberry sustained a head laceration during the attack, but no doubt saved her friend’s life – and her own. Not bad for a correctional officer who has been with the department less than two years.

“It is truly a humbling experience, because I am still a new officer with such little time in,” said Appleberry, who works at California State Prison-Sacramento (SAC). “I am so grateful for the training, support and encouragement given to me by the departmental staff. I thank God for giving me the courage, and I thank the department for giving me the training.”

Correctional Officer Mike Johnson, a seven-year veteran of the department who has spent his whole career at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP), was also honored with the Medal of Valor for bravely saving two lives following a fiery crash in Salinas.

On his way home from work in 2015, Johnson came across a two-car crash with one vehicle on fire. Johnson and a Marina police officer rescued a woman from the vehicle by carrying her to safety just before the vehicle became engulfed in flames. Johnson also moved another victim to safety who had been on the ground near the burning vehicle. Both victims survived.

“My training was an immense factor on the positive outcome of the situation,” Johnson said. “As officers, we are trained to respond. One of the more important aspects we are taught is known as the OODA loop. Basically this means observe, orient, develop a plan, act, and the loop aspect is to recycle/reset as the situation changes.”

SVSP Warden Bill Muniz came to the Medal of Valor ceremony to support Johnson and his other employees who received awards. In addition to Johnson, eight SVSP employees were honored with a Unit Citation for risking their own safety to remove an inmate from a burning cell. Muniz pointed out that his staff responds to an average of 1,000 incidents each year, and their experience inside the maximum-security prison prepares them to assist citizens in the community, as well.

“The bravery instilled in staff by having to respond to emergent situations spills over,” Muniz explained. “They’re primed by all of the alarms they respond to, all the dangerous situations. They’re used to running in when others run out.”

While Johnson speaks matter-of-factly about the experience, his daughter Macy is quick to point out the heroism involved, and that not just anybody would be willing to put themselves in harm’s way in order to save a life.

“I feel like it’s not something a lot of people would do or be capable of doing,” she said. “He tore a console out of a car. I’m proud of him. I sum it up this way: This is what my dad is. This is what he does.”

In addition to his actions during the accident, Johnson also worked to raise money for the family to cover their astronomic medical bills, and hopes to work with fellow CDCR employees to establish a nonprofit that would raise money for families affected by traumatic events.

In addition to the two Medal of Valor recipients, 123 other CDCR employees were honored at the ceremony in the form of Unit Citations and Gold, Silver and Bronze Stars. The ceremony, which has been sponsored for 12 years by the California Correctional Supervisors Organization, also recognized employees with Distinguished Service Medals for exemplary work conduct, and with Employee Recognition Awards, honoring the department’s Administrator of the Year, Rehabilitation Professional of the Year and Correctional Officer and Supervisor of the Year, among others.

Gazing over the crowd, Kernan reflected on the hard work of the thousands of men and women whose actions day in and day out support the department’s vision of a safer California through correctional excellence.

“Our jobs have never been easy,” he said. “However, we continue meeting the challenges as they arise, sometimes at great personal sacrifice. I am proud to lead our staff as we strive to make the agency a national role model for corrections and rehabilitation.”

  • (Editor’s note: Medal of Valor photos are availabe at
    This site may not be available from a CDCR computer.)

    2016 honorees
    Medal of Valor
    The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or in the lives of others.

    Mike R. Johnson, Correctional Officer
    Salinas Valley State Prison

    Jaymi Appleberry, Correctional Officer
    California State Prison-Sacramento

    Gold Star Medal
    The Gold Star medal is awarded for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

    Jesus Blandon, Correctional Officer
    California Health Care Facility.

    Silver Star Medal
    The Silver Star medal is awarded for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish him/herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgement.

    John Edelman, Parole Agent I
    California Parolee Apprehension Team North

    Kenneth Thomas, Parole Agent I
    Sean Torphy, Parole Agent I
    Ben Somera, Parole Agent I
    Southern Region California Parolee Apprehension Team

    John Mendiboure, Correctional Lieutenant
    Michael Tuntakit, Correctional Lieutenant
    Avenal State Prison

    Rafael Diaz, Correctional Officer
    Correctional Training Center

    Peter Vanderford, Correctional Officer
    Prado Conservation Camp #28

    Mario Gutierrez, Correctional Officer
    Southern Camp Warehouse

    Quincy Thacker, Parole Administrator
    Southern Region California Parolee Apprehension Team

    Eduardo (Edward) Sanchez, Parole Agent I
    Southern Region California Parolee Apprehension Team

    Miguel Lopez, Youth Correctional Officer
    Vincent Sillas, Lieutenant Youth Authority
    Ventura Youth Correctional Facility

    Steve M. Mello, Correctional Officer
    North Kern State Prison

    Darrell Nygren, Correctional Sergeant
    Ronnie Wheeler, Correctional Officer
    Ted Zerr, Correctional Officer
    California State Prison-Sacramento

    Aaron Brannen, Correctional Officer
    Christopher Causey, Correctional Officer
    California State Prison-Sacramento

    Chad Look, Correctional Officer
    Luis Delatorre, Correctional Officer
    Tyson Manning, Correctional Officer
    Wasco State Prison Reception Center

    Daniel Rodriguez, Correctional Officer
    San Quentin State Prison

    Bronze Star Medal
    The Bronze Star is awarded for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.

    Juan Aguirre, Correctional Officer
    Travon Rodgers, Correctional Officer
    Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

    Gary Gomez, Correctional Officer
    Ironwood State Prison

    Raymond Dominguez, Correctional Officer
    Joshua Priester, Correctional Officer
    Folsom State Prison

    Derek Kelley, Correctional Officer
    Wayne Anthony, Retired Correctional Lieutenant
    Pelican Bay State Prison

    Joseph Jasso, Correctional Food Manager I
    Chuckawalla Valley State Prison

    Stan Tuck, Correctional Sergeant
    Avenal State Prison

    Karla Joseph, Correctional Officer
    San Quentin State Prison

    Karen Elliott, Correctional Case Records Administrator
    Division of Adult Institutions – Case Records Services

    Gerardo Garcia, Pharmacy Technician
    Central California Women’s Facility

    Shawn Dawson, Correctional Officer
    Victor Ruiz, Correctional Officer
    Chuckawalla Valley State Prison

    Eric Baker, Correctional Sergeant
    California State Prison, Sacramento

    Roy Dickinson, Special Agent
    Office of Correctional Safety Fugitive Apprehension Team – Fresno

    Marco Arana, Correctional Officer
    California Institution for Women

    Fernando Herrera, Correctional Sergeant
    Office of Training and Personal Development/Advanced Learning Institute

    Christian Logan, Correctional Officer
    Kern Valley State Prison

    Deric Johnson, Associate Construction Analyst
    Facility Planning, Construction & Management

    Doug Sykes, Correctional Officer
    High Desert State Prison

    Stacey Emerson, Correctional Officer
    High Desert State Prison

    David Church, Correctional Officer
    Robert Gamberg Sr., Correctional Lieutenant
    Craig Phillips, Supervising Registered Nurse III
    High Desert State Prison

    Unit Citation Medal
    The Unit Citation is awarded for great courage displayed by a departmental unit in the course of conducting an operation in the face of immediate life-threatening circumstances.

    Fernand Alvarez, Physician & Surgeon
    Denise Reyes, Physician & Surgeon
    George Beatty, Physician & Surgeon
    Clarene David, Physician & Surgeon
    Shannon Garrigan, Physician & Surgeon
    John Grant, Physician & Surgeon
    Doreen Leighton, Physician & Surgeon
    Jenny Espinoza, Physician & Surgeon
    Alison Pachynski, Physician & Surgeon
    Michael Rowe, Physician & Surgeon
    Daniel Smith, Physician & Surgeon
    Rahul Vanjani, Physician & Surgeon
    Lisa Pratt, Chief Physician & Surgeon
    Elena Tootell, Chief Medical Executive
    Ingrid Nelson, Nurse Practitioner
    Peggy Hanna, Nurse Practitioner
    San Quentin State Prison
    (This team is also recognized as Healthcare Professional of the Year)

    Servando Ceballos, Correctional Officer
    Danny A. Delgadillo, Correctional Officer
    Brenda Sanchez, Correctional Officer
    Jason A. Sanudo, Correctional Officer
    Daryl L. Schlitz, Correctional Officer
    Carlos A. Vega, Correctional Officer
    Thadd C. Wittmann, Correctional Officer
    Darryl L. Williams, Correctional Sergeant
    Salinas Valley State Prison

    David Gonzales, Correctional Sergeant
    Tyrome Johnson, Correctional Officer
    Michelle Stein, Registered Nurse
    Petyo Rashev, Correctional Officer
    Jeremy Prentice, Correctional Lieutenant
    Steven Byers, Correctional Sergeant
    Kathryn Manness, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    Jason Murillo, Correctional Officer
    Breanna Ortiz, Correctional Officer
    Rolfe Dixon, Correctional Officer
    California State Prison-Sacramento

    Leonel Garcia, Correctional Officer
    Brandon Merkelbach, Correctional Officer
    Vincent Mayorga, Correctional Officer
    Mark Garcia, Correctional Sergeant
    California Institution for Women

    Henry Arevalo Jr., Correctional Officer
    Ricky Charles, Correctional Officer
    Eric Dixon, Correctional Officer
    Ernest Parker, Correctional Officer
    Robert Perez, Correctional Officer
    Michael Rients, Correctional Officer
    Daniel Vasquez, Correctional Officer
    Claire Garrovillo, Registered Nurse
    William Sullivan, Correctional Sergeant
    Kern Valley State Prison

    Dylan Brown, Correctional Officer
    Christopher Causey, Correctional Officer
    Seth Ignasiak, Correctional Officer
    Jeff Leech, Correctional Officer
    Robert Mott, Correctional Officer
    Breanna Ortiz, Correctional Officer
    Matthew Troth, Correctional Officer
    Paul Bettencourt, Correctional Officer
    California State Prison-Sacramento

    Distinguished Service Medal
    The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.

    Charles Wood, Correctional Health Services Administrator II
    California State Prison-Sacramento

    David Johns, Parole Agent I
    Northern Region, Ukiah Parole Unit

    Richard Gonsalves, Parole Agent I
    Meshal Kashifalghita, Parole Agent I
    Kenneth Thomas, Parole Agent I
    Joshua Bateson, Parole Agent II
    Eduardo (Edward) Sanchez, Parole Agent I
    Cecelia Gutierrez, Parole Service Associate
    Elizabeth Ornelas, Parole Service Associate
    Patricia Tellez, Parole Agent II
    Southern Region California Parolee Apprehension Team

    Dawn Hershberger, Correctional Officer
    California Correctional Center

    Marlaina Dernoncourt, Correctional Captain
    California State Prison-Solano

    Employee Recognition Awards
    Executive of the Year
    Clark Ducart, Warden
    Pelican Bay State Prison

    Administrator of the Year
    Jason Lopez, Deputy Director
    Office of Fiscal Services

    Rehabilitation Professional of the Year
    Jacqueline Laudeman, Correctional Counselor III
    Division of Rehabilitative Programs

    Division of Adult Parole Operations Professional of the Year
    Denise Milano, Chief Deputy Administrator, Correctional Program

    Correctional Officer of the Year
    Juan C. Velazquez, Correctional Officer
    California Institution for Men

    Correctional Supervisor of the Year
    Andres Banuelos, Correctional Lieutenant
    California Institution for Men

    Division of Juvenile Justice Professional of the Year
    Heather Bowlds, Associate Director, Mental Health

    Healthcare Professional of the Year
    Legionnaires’ Disease Team
    San Quentin State Prison

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    CDCR joins other state agencies for Our Promise charitable giving campaign

    By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor

    All across California, state workers are donating funds to their favorite charities through the Our Promise campaign.

    CDCR officially kicks off the Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work campaign with a carnival-themed free event on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 in the atrium of CDCR Headquarters in Sacramento.

    This year’s CDCR campaign is chaired by Allie Powell, a public information officer with the Office of Public and Employee Communications.

    To learn more about opportunities to volunteer or to learn more about this year’s campaign, contact Allie, Department Chair, at or Holly Stewart at; or visit the our promise site or (for employees) http://intranet/ADM/DSS/hr/oew/CSECC/Pages/CSECC.aspx.

    The Our Promise campaign was established in 1957 to provide a single charitable fundraising drive for the California state employee community. The campaign is rooted in the California legislature and is administered by the Victim’s Compensation and Government Claims Board.

    California Government Code, Section 13923, requires every employee receive an approved list of charitable organizations, a payroll deduction form, and a designation form. It also allows for payroll deduction for an annual charitable fund drive.

    During the fall, each state employee is given a payroll deduction pledge form and a donor resource guide with participating charitable organizations. Employees may donate to a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.

    Any organization not listed in the donor resource guide may receive an employee contribution by completing the Write-In Organization section of the pledge form. Payroll deduction donations start for as little as $5 per month.

    For additional information about the CDCR, please call the Office of External Affairs at
    (916) 445-4950.

    Thursday, September 8, 2016

    CDCR and non-profit staff update on Rehabilitation at C-ROB

    California Rehabilitation Oversight Board
    SACRAMENTO – California Rehabilitation Oversight Board (C-ROB) recently held a public meeting at the California State University Sacramento Harper Alumni Center, at 7490 College Town Drive, to discuss several significant updates concerning the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) programs and services. C-ROB was established by Assembly Bill 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007.

    Pursuant to Penal Code, Section 6141, C-ROB serves as a multi-disciplinary public board with members from various state and local entities to examine and report on rehabilitative programming provided to offenders and parolees by CDCR, including the implementation of an effective treatment model throughout the department. CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan serves as a board member.
    The board submits their annual report on Sept. 15 to the Governor and the Legislature.  Among other information reported in the meeting, the board discussed findings on the effectiveness of treatment efforts, rehabilitation needs of offenders, gaps in rehabilitation services and levels of offender participation.
    Misty Polasik, C-ROB Executive Director, provided highlights from site visits by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to all 35 adult institutions from December 2015 to January 2016 and again May 2016 to June 2016. During visits, OIG staff observed rehabilitation programs, interviewed CDCR staff and spoke with inmates to collect feedback. Staff reported several highlights from the visits such as dedicated staff, increased rehabilitative programming, reentry center and substance-use disorder treatment expansions.

    In the meeting, Chairperson Robert A. Barton led a discussion on the draft September 2016 Annual C-ROB report, followed by several updates from CDCR staff, including Jay Virbel, Director, Division of Rehabilitative Programs on the following program areas:

    ·       Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative

    ·       Automated Rehabilitation Catalog and Information Discovery
    Resource and Reentry Services

    ·       Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Sexual Offending program

    ·       Office of Correctional Education Update on Community College Expansions

     Secretary Scott Kernan and
    C-ROB Chairperson Robert Barton, Inspector General,
    Stephanie Santos, Training Director and Jackson 

    Victoria Cavaliere, Program Director, Tender Loving Canines provided an update on their agency’s effort to provide assistance dogs to wounded warriors or individuals with autism in the community. The agency serves as a partner to CDCR to support offender rehabilitation. Currently six service dogs are placed with inmates for training at Richard J. Donovan Fire House. Four more dogs are scheduled for placement in 2017. There are several incentive based criteria for an inmate to be eligible, such as no crimes against animals, discipline free for 12 months, and the inmate must have a minimum of 24 months left to serve on their sentence.

    Jackson and Murphy

    Jackson and Murphy are eight-week old puppies that will participate in the Tender Loving Canines program. With voluntary rehabilitation programming in place at various locations, non-profit staff plan to compete for CDCR Innovative Programming Grants to create more opportunities to participate in the program.

    To locate C-ROB Annual Reports and upcoming public meeting information, visit
    For more information about CDCR, contact Albert Rivas, Chief, Office of External
    at (916) 444-4950 or by email at

    Tuesday, August 30, 2016

    CDCR requesting applications for third round of Innovative Programming Grants

    Grants meant to expand rehabilitative programs in California Prisons

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is requesting applications for a third round of Innovative Programming Grants intended to expand current offender programs and increase volunteerism in prisons. 

    As with the first two rounds of grants, this year’s funding is available on a one-time basis to nonprofit organizations currently offering successful programs in California prisons that focus on offender responsibility and restorative justice principles.  The purpose of the funding is to provide eligible applicants with the resources necessary to replicate the successful programs at prison locations that are underserved by volunteers and nonprofit organizations.

    Over the past two years, a total of $5.5 million in grant monies was awarded to fund 74 new programs at 20 different CDCR institutions.  This year’s funding will consist of $3 million to be awarded over a three-year period to fund innovative grant program services  at targeted institutions; and $5.5 million awarded for a one-year period to programs that have proven successful in serving inmates who are serving long-term or life-term sentences.

    An official Request for Applications can be found at and at   Notice of intent to apply is due by September 26, 2016, with the final grant application due October 28, 2016. 

    For questions, please contact Jill Brown, CDCR Grant Program Coordinator at (916) 327-6389 or at  

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    New Report: California’s Return-to-Prison Rate Falls for the Fifth Straight Year to 44.6 percent

    New Report: California’s Return-to-Prison Rate Falls
    for the Fifth Straight Year to 44.6 percent
    Report shows substance abuse treatment is a major factor in reducing recidivism

    SACRAMENTO – The rate at which offenders return to state prison continues to fall, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). CDCR released its latest annual recidivism report today and it shows the total three-year return-to-prison rate for all offenders released during fiscal year 2010-2011 is 44.6 percent, down from 54.3 percent last year.

    “Most offenders sent to prison are eventually released, and so rehabilitation is in everyone’s best interest – our staff, the inmates and the community at large,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “The latest recidivism rate shows that we’re helping more inmates learn how to live a law-abiding, productive life.”

    The rate at which people return to prison has consistently trended downward since fiscal year 2005-2006 when the rate was 67.5 percent. For the first time, more people released in one year stayed out of prison than returned.

    CDCR also examines the return-to-prison rates of offenders who received in-prison substance abuse treatment and community-based substance abuse treatment programs. Offenders who received both in-prison substance abuse treatment and completed post-release aftercare had a 15.3 percent return-to-prison rate, the lowest of all people released in fiscal year 2010-2011.

    CDCR tracks the 95,690 people who were released from state prison after serving their sentence between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, for three years. Not only are their one-, two- and three-year return-to-prison rates analyzed, offender demographics and characteristics including age, gender, ethnicity, length of sentence, type of offense, county of commitment, prior incarcerations, mental health status and risk for a reconviction are also examined.

    The implementation of Public Safety Realignment in 2011 continues to have an impact on the state’s return-to-prison rate. Under Realignment, no offenders were released early. Effective October 1, 2011, offenders arrested on a parole violation or convicted of non-violent, non-serious, non-registrable sex offense felonies serve their sentences under county supervision instead of in state prison. Although all the offenders in the fiscal year 2010-2011 cohort were released before the passage of Assembly Bill 109, the law was in effect for varying amounts of time during their three-year follow-up period and contributed to the decline in the number of people returning to prison for parole violations.

    CDCR studies recidivism by tracking arrests, convictions and returns to prison and uses returns to prison as its primary measure. An offender is counted as a recidivist if he or she has returned to state prison for a new crime or for a parole violation within a three-year period. This approach is consistent with previous reports so policymakers and researchers have year-to-year comparisons.

    The latest Outcome Evaluation Report is published annually by CDCR’s Office of Research, which provides research, data analysis and evaluation to implement and assess evidence-based programs and practices, strengthen policy, inform management decisions and ensure accountability. The office has reported the rates at which adult offenders return to prison following release from state prison since 1977.

    For media inquiries concerning California's return-to-prison rate report, please contact Terry Thornton and for more information about the CDCR, please contact Albert Rivas
    at (916) 445-4950.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    September is National Preparedness Month

    Join the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and other agencies for the 11th annual California Day of Preparedness​ event in historic Old Sacramento.
    The free public event is designed to encourage families to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and in the community. A disaster can strike at any time without warning. Cal OES encourages all Californians to be prepared when an emergency occurs.

    In recognition of National Preparedness Month, Cal OES will kick-off National Preparedness Month by hosting the 11th annual California Day of Preparedness​ event in historic Old Sacramento. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 1124 2nd Street, Sacramento.
    California is prone to many disasters and all Californians should have a disaster plan and be ready to survive the Wild West. The emergency preparedness event will include the following preparedness features:
    Family disaster readiness information and resources
    CDCR K-9 demonstrations
    CDCR Crisis Response Teams

    Learn how to create the perfect prep kit

    Participate in a mobile 8.0 earthquake simulator

    Helicopter fire attack

    Swift water rescue
    Search and rescue dog exercises
    Enjoy music and mobile food trucks
    10 Ways to Be Prepared: Cal OES has tips, tricks, brochures and videos to help you learn what you can do around your home to ensure that you are ready for anything.
    Cal OES is delegated by the Governor to support and enhance all phases of emergency management which include Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation. Learn how you can Survive the Wild West #CAPrepDay
    Visit the 10 Ways to Be Prepared​​ and get ready with us!
    Visite al
    10 Maneras de Estar Preparados​​​ y prep├írate con nosotros!​​​
    For additional information about CDCR, please call Albert Rivas in the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950 or email

    Monday, August 8, 2016

    Seven More California Prisons Accredited with the American Correctional Association

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Contact: Terry Thornton
    August 8, 2016                                                                                                    (916) 445-4950

    Seven More California Prisons Accredited with the
    American Correctional Association
    With 30 California prisons now accredited, CDCR on track to have
    all adult institutions accredited by 2017

    SACRAMENTO – The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections accredited seven more California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons, bringing the total number of accredited state prisons to 30. The most recent round of accreditations was announced yesterday during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 146th Congress of Corrections in Boston.

    “Our success with accreditation is proof of the progress CDCR is making in improving our prison system,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “We started this ACA process six years ago at a time when there were still too many inmates in our prisons and too few resources to rehabilitate them. ACA accreditation demonstrates our efforts to reform and improve California’s correctional system are working well.”

    Institutions seeking accreditation must undergo intensive evaluations by the ACA that culminate in the accreditation audit, a comprehensive assessment that encompasses every area of prison management including administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, the physical plant, safety and emergency procedures, conditions of confinement, rules and discipline, inmate programs, health care, food service, sanitation, and the provision of basic services affecting the life, safety and health of inmates and staff.

    Institutions seeking accreditation have to comply with 525 ACA standards and score 100 percent for 62 mandatory requirements and at least 90 percent on 463 non-mandatory requirements. Half of the mandatory standards address health care.

    California Correctional Center, California Institution for Men, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, Calipatria State Prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and Valley State Prison met all of the mandatory requirements and considerably surpassed the 90 percent mark for non-mandatory items.

    In addition, Correctional Training Facility, High Desert State Prison, Mule Creek State Prison, North Kern State Prison and Pelican Bay State Prison – accredited in 2013 – were re-accredited for three more years.

    For the non-mandatory requirements, California Correctional Center received a score of 98.3 percent, California Institution for Men received 98.0 percent, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran received 99.1 percent, Calipatria State Prison received 98.8 percent, Pleasant Valley State Prison received 99.3 percent, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility received 97.7 percent and Valley State Prison received 99.3 percent.

    California City Correctional Facility, California Correctional Institution, California Health Care Facility, California Rehabilitation Center and Deuel Vocational Institution have started the process of seeking accreditation in 2017. In addition, the eight institutions accredited in 2014 will seek reaccreditation.

    Founded in 1870, the ACA is the leading internationally recognized authority on corrections and its role in the criminal justice system and in society. It develops standards based on valid, reliable research designed to improve correctional facilities on all levels. The ACA facilitates the accreditation process and its Commission on Accreditation for Corrections certifies prisons. ACA standards have been integrated in more than 1,300 facilities and agencies around the world.

    CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in 2010. CDCR is slated to accomplish its goal of having all of its 34 state-owned institutions and one leased prison accredited by next year.

    CDCR’s Special Review Unit in the Office of Audits and Court Compliance provides departmental oversight and works with its Division of Health Care Services in the accreditation process.

    For more about CDCR, visit

    For more about the American Correctional Association, visit