Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CDCR seeks to help religious inmates observe holy days

By Alexandra Powell, Office of External Affairs

With the holidays approaching, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is taking steps to facilitate the religious needs of inmates.  The Aleph Institute, a national, Jewish faith-based non-profit organization will host Spark of Light program at six CDCR institutions to assist inmates in observing Hanukkah.  Spark of Light is the only program in the United States serving Jewish inmates to ensure that they stay connected with their families, communities and Jewish heritage.  The program administrators will bring with them a pair of tefillin, a prayer book and a yarmulke.  All inmates will be informed of the program and will have the opportunity to participate regardless of religious preference.   
A program schedule is listed below:

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility – December 18, 2014
California State Prison, Corcoran – December 19, 2014
Avenal State Prison – December 21, 2014
Pleasant Valley State Prison– December 22, 2014
California Training Facility – December 23, 2014
Salinas Valley State Prison – December 23, 2014

For additional information about the upcoming program series, please contact Mr. Dave Skaggs at or (916) 324-1441.

For questions about CDCR, please call, Alexandra Powell with the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.

Monday, December 15, 2014

CDCR, CAL FIRE To Staff Ventura Fire Camp

CDCR, CAL FIRE To Staff Ventura Fire Camp
Inmate Fire Fighting Crews Will Increase Protection In a Vulnerable Region 

SACRAMENTO –To strengthen wildfire protection in a crucial stretch of coastal Southern California, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and CAL FIRE today jointly announced that they will return inmate fire crews full-time to a Ventura County camp that has been used sporadically in recent years.

The first of what is ultimately anticipated to be 100 inmate fire fighters are expected to arrive at Ventura Camp # 46 in Camarillo by December 17.

Formerly known as the S. Carraway Public Service and Fire Center, the conservation camp had been staffed with juvenile offender fire fighters between 1990 and 2011, when a declining number of incarcerated juveniles forced the camp to consolidate with another in Amador County.  Since then, CAL FIRE has staged inmate fire crews at the site temporarily when they were needed.

“Returning these crews permanently to Ventura will reinforce our ability to protect a highly populated region that is vulnerable to fire danger,” noted Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who noted that the inmate fire crews closest to the region are assigned to CALFIRE camps in San Luis Obispo and Palmdale, both more than 100 miles away.

“We are excited to be able to have the inmate staffing to increase not only the region’s fire protection, but also the brush clearance projects in which the crews will perform,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director.  “These inmates will go through a rigorous fire training program and become a key component to California’s fire response.” 

The state’s 4,300 inmate fire fighters are critical to controlling wildfires across the state. This year, inmate fire crews responded to well over 5,500 wildfires, which is 1,000 more wildfires than in a typical year.  When they are not working to contain wildfires, inmate crews perform community service projects year-round, including brush-clearing projects to reduce fire danger.

CDCR has supplied inmate fire fighters to CAL FIRE since 1946.  Only inmates convicted of low level felonies, with records of good behavior, who can meet the physical requirements of the rigorous work, and who are within two to five years of their release date are accepted as firefighters.  They are housed in 39 CAL FIRE camps across the state and five Los Angeles County camps and are closely supervised when they work on projects in the community.
The move to restore full time crews to Ventura was supported by local officials.  “I believe a fully functioning camp in Ventura County will provide vital resources that will benefit all of our residents,” said Geoff Dean, Ventura County Sheriff.

Kathy Long, Ventura County Supervisor, supported the recommendation of Sheriff Dean and Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen to revive the staffing at the camp.  “This local resource is critical to uphold our commitment to protect Ventura County residents and their property from the effects of natural disasters in this high risk community,” said Long.    

For community inquiries about Ventura Fire Camp, please contact Albert Rivas, Deputy Chief at or by phone at (916) 445-4950.

For media inquiries please contact:
CDCR Contact: Bill Sessa, (916) 445-4950
CALFIRE Contact: Dan Berlant (916) 651-3473

Monday, December 8, 2014

CDCR Helps Parolees Find Health Coverage

By Kristina Khokhobashvili, Public Information Officer
SACRAMENTO — Emphasizing its commitment to offender rehabilitation and long-term success after incarceration, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has ramped up efforts to ensure that parolees obtain health coverage.
“The benefits of receiving health care services, including primary health care, dental care, mental health and substance abuse services, are immeasurable for our parolee population,” said Dan Stone, Director of CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO).

In July, DAPO and the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP) began robust outreach efforts to assist female parolees in obtaining health insurance coverage under the expanded eligibility criteria in the Affordable Care Act. That effort included developing county-specific Resource Guides and community resource fairs to encourage enrollment and provide referrals and assistance.
“Staying healthy is an important part of rehabilitation,” said Millicent Tidwell, DRP Director. “That includes treating mental health and substance abuse issues. By assisting parolees in obtaining coverage, CDCR is helping keep communities safe.”
Following the successful outreach effort, nearly every female parolee in California now has health coverage or is on her way to obtaining it.
From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, staff followed up with California’s 3,455 female parolees to determine who was already covered and who was eligible for Medi-Cal, and to provide continued assistance in getting coverage. Today, 93 percent of the female parolee population either has health coverage (77 percent) or is in the process of obtaining coverage (16 percent). These outcomes do not include female parolees who were in custody, at large or otherwise unreachable.
For more information, please call (916) 445-4950.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2013 California crime rates decrease in every offense

The California Department of Justice recently released a report indicating that between 2012 and 2013 Crime in California is down in every offense.
The report presents statistics for reported crimes, arrests, disposition of adult felony arrests, adult probation, criminal justice personnel, citizens’ complaints against peace officers, domestic violence related calls for assistance, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted.  The report also provides historical trend data for previous years.
The report is available by visiting the Depart of Justice website at:
For assistance accessing the report, please contact Albert Rivas by email at or by phone at (916) 445-4950.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Corrections Staff to be Honored for Bravery

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will honor 107 employees from across the state Sept. 18 during its 30th annual Medal of Valor Ceremony. The ceremony will be held at the First Baptist Church of Elk Grove Community Center, where six employees will be recognized with the highest award given by CDCR – the Medal of Valor. The Medal of Valor is earned by employees who distinguish themselves through bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service, displaying great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved, while showing professional judgment and not jeopardizing operations or the lives of others.

In addition to the Medal of Valor, CDCR will award Distinguished Service Medals, Unit Citations and Bronze, Silver and Gold Corrections Stars.

Medal of Valor Ceremony
Medal of Valor, Bronze, Silver and Gold Corrections Stars awarded
Unit Citations honor groups’ bravery
Distinguished Service Medals for exemplary work conduct
Correctional Officer and Supervisor of the Year named


CDCR employees
CDCR executives, including Keynote Speaker Secretary Jeff Beard

First Baptist Church of Elk Grove Community Center
8939 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove


10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 18

By Monday, Sept. 15, to (916) 445-4950 or

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CDCR Employees Give Back

By Alexandra Powell, Office of External Affairs

Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work, formerly known as the California State Employee Charitable Campaign, has officially begun.  The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is one of many state agencies taking part in the initiative.

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. 
You can learn more about the Our Promise Campaign at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

8 California prisons accredited with the American Correctional Association; total now 16

Nearly half of all California prisons are now accredited with worldwide authority

The Commission on Accreditation for Corrections has accredited eight additional California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons, bringing the total number of accredited California prisons to 16.

The most recent round of accreditations was announced Sunday during the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) 144th Congress of Correction in Salt Lake City, Utah.

California Institution for Women, Centinela State Prison, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Folsom State Prison, Ironwood State Prison, Kern Valley State Prison, Sierra Conservation Center and Wasco State Prison and Reception Center achieved near-perfect scores in the ACA evaluation.

“ACA accreditation is an important and highly respected indicator which demonstrates that our state prisons are being operated safely, professionally, humanely and in compliance with the U.S. Constitution,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “I commend all CDCR employees for their ongoing commitment to ensuring our facilities meet and exceed such strict standards.”
For more than 143 years, the ACA has been the recognized worldwide authority in corrections and its Commission on Accreditation for Corrections certifies correctional facilities.

The ACA is responsible for conducting the audits; the Commission, comprised of corrections professionals from across the country, is responsible for granting or denying the accreditation.  ACA standards are the national benchmark for the effective operation of correctional facilities. The ACA’s Standards Committee continually revises standards based on changing practices, current case law, agency experiences and the expert opinions of corrections professionals, doctors, legal experts and architects.

Adult and juvenile facilities, community-based programs, and parole and probation agencies all use ACA standards. Lawyers, judges, county administrators, academia and advocacy groups also use ACA standards as a tool to ensure the constitutional rights of offenders and to protect staff and the public.

Institutions seeking accreditation must undergo rigorous reviews and evaluations that culminate in the accreditation audit. CDCR’s Special Review Unit in the Office of Audits and Court Compliance provides departmental oversight and works with the Division of Health Care Services in the accreditation process.
The accreditation audit is a comprehensive review 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 that can affect the life, safety and health of inmates and staff.

Institutions seeking accreditation have to comply with 529 ACA standards and score 100 percent for 62 mandatory requirements and at least 90 percent on 467 non-mandatory requirements. Half of the mandatory standards address health care.

Since last fall, ACA audit teams visited the eight prisons and conducted comprehensive on-site audits of all aspects of prison operations. The teams found that all eight prisons met all of the mandatory requirements and all eight significantly exceeded the 90 percent mark for non-mandatory items.
California Institution for Women received a score of 98.9 percent, Centinela State Prison received 97.4 percent, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison received 99.1 percent, Folsom State Prison received 97.6 percent, Ironwood State Prison received 99.1 percent, Kern Valley State Prison received 98.8 percent, Sierra Conservation Center received 98.8 percent and Wasco State Prison and Reception Center received 97.9 percent.

Next year, Avenal State Prison, California Medical Facility, California Men’s Colony, California State Prison-Corcoran, California State Prison-Los Angeles County, Deuel Vocational Institution, Salinas Valley State Prison and San Quentin State Prison are scheduled to go through the accreditation process.
The accreditation process is intended to be continuous. Three prisons accredited in 2012 – California State Prison-Sacramento, California State Prison-Solano and Central California Women’s Facility – will be going through the re-accreditation process for 2015. Since standards are being revised to reflect changes in the profession, re-accreditation may involve compliance with some new or updated standards. 

CDCR’s goal is to have all of its 34 institutions accredited by 2017.

CDCR began the process of seeking nationally recognized accreditation from the ACA in 2010. In addition to the eight prisons accredited today, the following state prisons have also been accredited by the ACA:
  • California State Prison-Sacramento, with a score of 98.6 percent
  • California State Prison-Solano, 99 percent
  • Central California Women’s Facility, 98.16 percent
  • Correctional Training Facility, 98.1 percent
  • High Desert State Prison, 98.8 percent
  • Mule Creek State Prison, 98.8 percent
  • North Kern State Prison, 97.66 percent
  • Pelican Bay State Prison, 97.4 percent

California State Senate Confirms Division of Adult Institutions and Division of Rehabilitative Programs leadership 33-0

The California Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to confirm the appointments of CDCR leaders Michael Stainer, Vimal Singh, Ralph Diaz, and Millicent Tidwell.  The vote was 33-0.

Michael Stainer was confirmed as the Director of the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) and Millicent Tidwell was confirmed as the Director of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP).
Vimal Singh and Ralph Diaz were both confirmed as Associate Directors of DAI.
The confirmation process for each began Aug. 14 before the Senate Rules Committee.
Stainer was appointed director of DAI in November 2013 where he had been acting director since 2013 and served as deputy director of facility operations from 2012 to 2013.

Stainer held multiple positions at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi from 2004 to 2011, including warden, acting warden, chief deputy warden, associate warden and correctional captain.
He was a correctional captain at the California State Prison Los Angeles from 2002 to 2004 and held multiple positions at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi from 1987 to 2002, including correctional counselor supervisor, lieutenant, sergeant and officer.  Tidwell was appointed director of DRP in November 2013 where she had served as acting director since 2013.

Tidwell held multiple positions at the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs from 2005 to 2013, including acting deputy director of the Licensing and Certification Division and deputy director of the Office of Criminal Justice Collaboration.  She served as chief of the California Department of Corrections Mentally Ill Offender Services from 2000 to 2005 and was a public safety policy analyst in the Office of Governor Gray Davis from 1999 to 2000.  Tidwell was an attorney in private practice from 1997 to 1999. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Lincoln Law School of Sacramento.

Vimal Singh was appointed associate director of reception center institutions at CDCR where he has served as acting director since 2013.  Singh held multiple positions at the California Medical Facility from 2009 to 2013, including warden, acting warden and chief deputy administrator.  He held multiple positions at the California State Prison, Solano from 1998 to 2009, including correctional administrator, business manager, accounting officer supervisor, budget analyst, institutional personnel officer and correctional food manager. 

Singh was a supervising correctional cook at the California State Prison, Sacramento from 1991 to 1998 and a supervising cook at Folsom State Prison and at California State Prison, Sacramento from 1989 to 1991. He was a dietary chef at the University of California, Davis Medical Center from 1987 to 1989.
Ralph Diaz was appointed associate director of high security institutions where he has served as acting associate director since 2013.

Diaz held multiple positions at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran from 2000 to 2013, including warden, acting warden, chief deputy administrator, correctional captain and counselor.  He was a correctional counselor and officer at the California State Prison, Corcoran from 1993 to 2000 and a correctional officer at Wasco State Prison from 1991 to 1993.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

San Quentin News: The Newspaper of San Quentin State Prison

By Alexandra Powell, Office of External Affairs

San Quentin State Prison is home to a wide range of rehabilitation programs, one of which is the San Quentin News.  Established in 1940, the newspaper was the first inmate-produced publication in California and quite possibly the world.  The paper is produced monthly by a team of 15 inmate journalists with the help of four volunteer advisers who have extensive professional journalism experience.  Approximately 11,500 copies are printed each month and distributed to 17 other California institutions.

The newspaper helps inmate journalists develop a variety of skills such as proofreading, page layout and design, interviewing, working under a deadline and team-building.   The paper also gives readers a first-hand look at life in an institution.  San Quentin State Prison Warden Kevin Chappell notes, “The San Quentin News helps to broaden the awareness of those things that are important to the men who live behind the walls, and not just a slanted view of a third party.”

The inmate journalists do not have access to the internet or cell phones and must rely solely on their advisers and other news sources.   Earlier this year, a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the paper with the James Madison Freedom of Information Award for “accomplishing extraordinary journalism under extraordinary circumstances.”  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

CDCR participates in global TEDx talks to deliver message of rehabilitation

Rehabilitation was the word of the day as hundreds of inmates and guests gathered for Tedx Ironwood State Prison: “Infinite Possibilities.”

Speaker after speaker – including professors, doctors, actors, CDCR staff and inmates – shared stories of healing and hope. Inmate emcee Steve Duby pointed out that on the same day, TEDx talks were being held in Pompeii, Italy; Taipei City, Taiwan; Fuzhou, China; and Blythe, California.

“Today all of you are part of a global community,” Duby said as he began introducing the impressive list of speakers. One of the first was Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Mobile, who spoke on the importance of rehabilitating oneself while incarcerated.

TEDx 17
Sir Richard Branson, left, talks with Scott Budnick.

During a Q&A with organizer Scott Budnick, a film producer and founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Branson was asked why he feels it’s important that employers give formerly incarcerated people a second chance.

Branson replied that not only does it help offenders stand on their own two feet and make them realize they are loved and cared for, it’s also a great opportunity for companies to work with formerly incarcerated people who come out of prison educated and with job skills.

“I think as many companies as possible need to get out there and take people and give them a chance,” Branson said. “And I think they’ll be surprised by how successful it is.”

The independently organized TEDx event was made possible through a partnership of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and coordinators Budnick and the Ford Foundation. Each speaker helped spread the TED message: Ideas can change the world.

For inmate Marquise Clark, changing the world begins with getting an education. Of the 1,288 college degrees earned at ISP, at least one will be his. And for that, he shared, he’s “grateful for the opportunity” to be in prison — the theme of his talk.

“Being enrolled in college, passing the classes, gaining more knowledge and completing the classes satisfied me because it says that my future is looking bright again,” Clark said. “So yes, I am grateful for the opportunity to be in prison. I’m grateful to be alive, for how far I came.”

Getting an education, he emphasized, means not only expanding horizons, but also gaining self-value, self-confidence and courage.  Another speaker, Ellen Rutledge, focused on a different kind of courage: the courage to forgive.  Rutledge, chief executive assistant to Chief Deputy Warden Neil McDowell, lost her son in 2008 when he was murdered. While the journey to forgiveness was long and trying, she shared, it is possible. 

“Be assured: We all have the ability to forgive,” she said. “But it may not happen in one fell swoop. Sometimes it has to happen in waves. Sometimes we have to forgive someone many times before we can let go of all the emotional residue of the past.”

Rutledge wasn’t the only CDCR employee to speak at TEDx. Millicent Tidwell, director of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs, spoke about the importance of the “R” in CDCR, and ISP Correctional Officer Calvin Williams shared his story of growing up without a father, urging the inmates to stay connected with their children, as even a phone call can make a big difference in a child’s life.
TEDx 24
Therapist and self-help author Sean Stephenson talks at ISP’s TEDx event. 

Therapist and self-help author Sean Stephenson received one of the loudest standing ovations of the day after he spoke about making healthy choices. Stephenson, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (“brittle bone syndrome”), was given just months to live when he was born.

More than 30 years later, Stephenson’s motivational talks inspire others to live their dreams instead of focusing on their limitations.  Stephenson railed against pity, pointing out that had he chosen to wallow in self-pity, he would probably not be alive today. “I choose something else,” he said. “I chose to be strong. I choose to be a leader. I choose to have words to move this planet.”

Stephenson shared why he believes he was born, and encouraged the inmates to look inside themselves to find out why they were born, and use that knowledge to change the world. 

“I was born to rid this world of insecurity, because when a human being is insecure, we do stupid stuff … we chase external validation and external objects to try to tell us we are enough. You are enough.”

“I have a belief that has served me in my life, and that is that everyone is rooting for you to win, even those who do not know it.”
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Friday, May 16, 2014

CDCR inmate fire crews battle Southern California flames

By Bill Sessa, Public Information Officer, Office of Public and Employee Communications

After three years of below normal rainfall and drought, 2014 is already shaping up to be a year of historic fire danger and CDCR inmate fire crews are already are as busy as they normally would be in mid-summer.
On Thursday, 1,300 inmate fire fighters were battling nine separate blazes covering more than 11,000 acres in Southern California from Santa Barbara to San Diego.  CDCR has 42 adult and one juvenile fire camp and approximately 4,300 inmate-firefighters on the fire lines.  Working side by side with U.S. Forest Service and CALFIRE crews, the inmates play a large public safety role while saving taxpayers an estimated $100 million a year.

For information regarding additional rehabilitation programs, please contact Albert Rivas, Deputy Chief, External Communications, at (916) 445-4950 or email:

Sessa fire photo

Friday, May 2, 2014

Business to Business Roundtable: Discuss Innovative Methods to Help Your Business Grow

CARSON - Please join the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III of District 64 for the Business to Business Roundtable (B2B) on Friday, May 9, 2014.  This quarterly open forum is a gathering of community and business representatives with a mission to revitalize economic growth in the region.

This quarter’s B2B topic is “Small Business: The Engine of the Economy.”  Richard Martinez, Procurement & Services Officer II of the California State Prison, Los Angeles County, will serve as a panelist to help the Los Angeles business community learn how to do business with CDCR.  Martinez will discuss procurement and contracting opportunities, as well as, provide information about the State of California Small Business Program.  More than 200 local suppliers are expected to attend. 

Event Details:

Business to Business Rountable
Friday, May 9, 2014
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Street, Extended Education Auditorium 1213
Carson, CA 90747

For additional information about the event, please contact Assemblymember Hall’s district office at (310) 223-1201.  For information about CDCR please contact Allie Powell or Albert Rivas with the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.

CDCR Launches Technology To Connect Parolees With Resources

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP), Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), and Enterprise Information Services collaborated to bring 18 new computer kiosks to select parole offices in 2014 that will better educate parolees on rehabilitative opportunities.

The Automated Rehabilitation Catalog and Information Delivery (ARCAID) machines will help parolees search and locate a wide range of available resources  from substance abuse treatment, sober living, health services, employment, child care, and necessary government services like driver’s licenses, social security and veteran’s services.

Each kiosk will have a user-friendly touch-screen for parolees to access the database of community resources available in his/her area. Parolees can select a nearby resource, view maps and contact information for their selections, and print directions to take with them.  The self-guided interface will help parolees find resources without the need for assistance. CDCR anticipates the ARCAID machines will increase parolee use of rehabilitative programs while reducing dependence on staff for research and referrals.

“Installation of these kiosks will streamline information on the rehabilitative services CDCR offers offenders in the community. Having ready access to this information is vital to successful reentry into their communities,” DRP Chief Millicent Tidwell said. “The ultimate goal is to reduce recidivism by increasing the use of these programs.”

In time, the ARCAID services will be available across a wide range of mobile devices. It will also be accessible by friends and family members of parolees so they can assist their loved one’s transition back into the community. Parole agents will also be able to track the activity of their parolees to help make sure they are receiving the help they’re looking for.

“Parolee involvement in rehabilitative programs within the community is critical to reducing their recidivism rate,” DAPO Chief Dan Stone said. “Our parole agents work very hard to help protect public safety. These new machines will be an additional resource for offenders to get the immediate assistance they need.”

The kiosks will be installed at 18 select parole offices strategically placed across the state. The parole offices that will be receiving the kiosks include; Antelope Valley, Bakersfield, Chula Vista, El Monte, Fresno, LA Central, Oakland, Orange-Anaheim, Richmond, Riverside, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Stockton, and Van Nuys.

Locations of the kiosks and other information about them is available here.

If you cannot access this link, here is the URL:

By Dana Simas, OPEC Public Information Officer.  For additional information, please call the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hundreds Of Youth To Visit On Mother’s Day

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Center for Restorative Justice Works to host the 15th annual Get On The Bus events. 
Hundreds of children will visit their mothers in various locations for Mother’s Day during the 15th annual Get On The Bus events.  The event is designed to provide children and caregivers with an opportunity to travel to female prisons for free for the special visiting day.
The annual visitation day will take place on May 3 at Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF) 300 Prison Road, Represa and California Institution for Women (CIW) 16756 Chino-Corona Road, Corona.  A second visiting day is scheduled for May 9, 2014 at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) at 8 AM. 
To schedule a visit, please RSVP by Tuesday, April 29, 2014 with one of the following peace officers:

FWF- Lt. Joseph Tuggle, (916) 351-3016
CIW- Lt. Richard Montes, (909) 597-1771, ext. 4921
CCWF- Lt. Brian Davi, (559) 665-5531, ext. 5500

Friday, April 25, 2014

CDCR Kicks Off 2014 NBA Playoff Series

On April 19, 2014 the Calipatria State Prison (CAL) Honor Guard presented the State of California and United States flags at the Los Angeles Staples Center to kick off the 2014 National Basketball Association play-off series featuring the LA Clippers and the Golden State Warriors.  This high-profile event is just one of many for the CAL Honor Guard.  In the past year alone they have conducted the flag ceremony for the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Chargers, the L.A. Kings, and the Anaheim Ducks.  

Correctional Sergeant (Sgt.) Robert Silvas has served as a member of the CAL Honor Guard for nearly twenty years.  He assumed leadership of the team in 2011 and decided to focus on diversifying the team’s event profile.  Silvas began by reaching out to the LA Clippers who responded with open arms.  Sgt. Silvas says, “We always receive such positive feedback and have been invited back to every event we do.”  

Participation in the Honor Guard is 100% voluntary.  Officers take time out of their personal lives after their shifts and on days off.  With that in mind, Silvas stresses the importance of including the officers’ families at every event stating, “For many of the officers’ children, it is their first experience at a major league sports game or even a parade.  They get to see their parents in uniform serving CDCR and the local community.”

Silvas includes a female officer when possible to reaffirm that women are an important part of the peace officer team.  They have received positive reactions from young girls who are amazed that women serve as peace officers.  Local Reserve Officers Training Corps participation is encouraged by having local high schools make appearances alongside the Honor Guard during half-time shows.   These events have proven to be a valuable recruitment tool, not only for the Honor Guard but for CDCR in general.  

The CDCR’s Honor Guard helps to further the interests of the Department and contributes to long standing positive relationships with local communities.

For more information, please contact External Affairs, CDCR at (916) 445-4950.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

San Joaquin County 12th Annual Job and Resource Fair

STOCKTON - Please join the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the San Joaquin County Worknet, and the City of Stockton for the 12th Annual Job and Resource Fair on April 17, 2014.  The event includes opportunities for employers to advertise job openings and job seekers will have an opportunity to apply for jobs in person or online at the event.

Event Details:
12th Annual Job and Resource Fair
San Joaquin County Worknet
Thursday, April 17, 2014
9:30 AM - Veteran admission
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM General admission
Stockton Arena
248 W. Freemont Street
***Free Parking***

Event Includes:

·         Apply for jobs in person or online
·         Colleges and vocational schools
·         Community resources and referrals
·         Resume review and critique by experts
·         Exhibiting opportunities for employers

For additional information about the event, please call the San Joaquin County Worknet at (209) 468-3500.  For information about peace officer careers or invitations to regional events, please contact the Office of Peace Office Selections at (866) 232-5627 or email:

For information about the CDCR, please contact, Albert Rivas at (916) 445-4950.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

CDCR Launches New Rehabilitative Services for Long-Term Offender Pilot Program

SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is launching a pilot program offering targeted rehabilitative services to inmates serving long-term sentences.

The Long-Term Offender Pilot Program (LTOPP) provides evidence-based programming during incarceration and services upon release to allow inmates an easier transition back into society.

“Due to the length of incarceration, long-term offenders are often not prepared for the significant changes in technology and day-to-day living that have occurred since they were first incarcerated,” said Millicent Tidwell, CDCR Division of Rehabilitative Programs Director. “Giving these offenders the tools they need to be successful in their own rehabilitation both inside and outside prison is imperative.”

The program is intended to serve inmates who have been identified as having moderate to high risk of criminal behavior and are serving indeterminate sentences with the possibility of parole. 

The LTOPP is a voluntary program which will include evidence-based treatment for:
·         Substance abuse
·         Criminal thinking
·         Victim impact
·         Anger-management issues
·         Improvement of family relationships

The LTOPP will initially be implemented at the following institutions: California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville; Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla; and California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.  Inmates who are serving indeterminate sentences at non-pilot institutions may be allowed to temporarily transfer to a pilot location in order to participate in the LTOPP.

Additionally, CDCR is creating Long-Term Offender Reentry Facilities that will help long-term offenders during their transition back into society, including housing, employment and community-based services. Locations for these reentry facilities are still being determined.

The pilot program will be in effect for 24 months, during which the CDCR Division of Rehabilitative Programs will monitor implementation and effectiveness of the program. If proven to be a successful rehabilitative tool, the program will then go through the Administrative Procedures Act process to become a formal policy.

The LTOPP is being implemented in accordance with the 2012 CDCR Blueprint in which the department was tasked with increasing the percentage of inmates served in rehabilitative programs prior to release to 70 percent of the target population.

For additional information, please contact Dana Simas at (916) 445-4950 or by email at: 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Governor Brown Issues Statement on Three-Judge Court Order

SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issues the statement below following today’s order from the Three-Judge Court:   
“It is encouraging that the Three-Judge Court has agreed to a two-year extension. The state now has the time and resources necessary to help inmates become productive members of society and make our communities safer.”

Today the Three-Judge Court issued an order that provides a two year extension to comply with the mandate to reduce the prison population to 137.5 percent design capacity by February 28, 2016.  The order includes several benchmarks to reduce the in-state prison population to 143 percent of design capacity by June 30, 2014; followed by 141.5 percent by February 28, 2015; and 137.5 percent of design bed capacity by February 28, 2016. 
Effective immediately, the court has ordered the start of several measures to reduce the prison population, including an increase in credits prospectively for non-violent second strike-offenders and minimum custody inmates.  Additional changes are included to parole eligibility rules.  The order calls for the appointment of a Compliance Officer who will direct the early release of inmates if CDCR fails to reach any benchmarks in time.

To view the Three-Judge Court order, please visit the CDCR webpage at:

For additional information or to request a copy of the court order, please call Albert Rivas at (916) 445-4950.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Report Shows California’s Recidivism Rate Declined Again This Year

                                    California’s recidivism rate is now 61.0 percent

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today released its 2013 Outcome Evaluation Report, the fourth in a series of annual reports tracking and analyzing the recidivism – or reoffending – rates of adult felons released from state prison.  The report shows that the total three-year recidivism rate for all felons released during fiscal year 2008-2009 is 61.0 percent, down from 63.7 percent last year and down from 67.5 percent four years ago.

“The continuing improvement in the state’s recidivism rate is encouraging news for all Californians,” CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard said. “When former offenders are leading productive, law abiding lives, our communities are safer. As we move forward and both CDCR and counties utilize state funds to invest more in evidence-based rehabilitation efforts, I’m confident we will see recidivism rates continue to decline.”

CDCR measures recidivism by arrests, convictions and returns to prison and uses the latter measure – returns to prison – as its primary measure of recidivism. CDCR’s return-to-prison measure includes offenders released from prison after having served their sentence for a crime as well as offenders released from prison after having served their term for a parole violation. All felons are tracked for the full three-year follow-up period, regardless of their status on parole or if they have discharged.

In fiscal year 2008-2009, 112,877 people were released or re-released from state prison and recidivated at a rate of 61.0 percent within three years.

The 2013 report focuses on the 68,803 inmates who returned to custody within three years of release. It also looks at demographics, including gender, age, ethnicity, offense, mental health status, length of stay, risk category and other factors and offers data and insights to CDCR executives, policy makers and correctional stakeholders.

The report’s findings include:

·         Nearly 50 percent of inmates who recidivate within three years do so within the first six months.
·         Women recidivate at a lower rate (48.9 percent) than men (62.4 percent).
·         Although few in number, inmates released after serving an indeterminate sentence recidivate at a much lower rate (11.5 percent) than those who served a determinate sentence (61.0 percent).
·         Despite the fact that Los Angeles County had the largest share of inmates released to parole (25.8 percent), its recidivism rate of 50.4 percent is the lowest of the 12 counties with the largest number of releases.
·         San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Fresno counties have the highest overall three-year recidivism rates at 75.8 percent, 72.2 percent and 71.3 percent respectively.
·         In general, recidivism rates decrease with age. Felons aged 18 to 19 years old have a 73.7 percent recidivism rate; those age 60 and older have a 45.2 recidivism rate.
·         The seriousness of an inmate’s commitment crime is often inversely related to his/her recidivism risk. For example, second-degree murderers have a recidivism rate of 10.3 percent while people convicted of vehicle theft have a 72.5 percent recidivism rate.
·         Overall, inmates with identified mental health issues recidivate at a higher rate than those without mental health issues.

Assembly Bill 109, the California Public Safety Realignment Act, became law on October 1, 2011. The law changed where people convicted of non-violent, non-serious and non-sex offenses serve their sentences. CDCR researchers expect that Realignment will have an impact on recidivism, but the impact is not significant in this report because it focuses on offenders released before Realignment’s implementation.

CDCR researchers did recently release a report that tracked inmates released from prison pre- and post-Realignment. It can be found here:

The 2013 Outcome Evaluation Report is published by CDCR’s Office of Research, which provides research data analysis and evaluation to implement evidence-based programs and practices, strengthen policy, inform management decisions and ensure accountability.

 For additional information, please contact Terry Thornton at (916) 445-4950.

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