Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Council on Mentally Ill Offenders looks at challenges, successes of 2016

The Council on Mentally Ill Offenders, or COMIO, released its latest annual report in December 2016. Read the full report here:
The incarceration of individuals with behavioral health problems is a national, state and local crisis. Incarceration due to untreated mental illness illustrates how systems and communities can fail those most in need. Prisons and jails have become de facto mental health treatment centers and police have become de facto mental health crisis first responders.
CDCR has seen the population with mental-health needs, particularly serious ones, expand significantly. In 2006, the mental health population, as a percent of the total in-custody population, was just shy of 19 percent. As of July 2016, that number rose to almost 30 percent.
Too often, those with mental illness do not get treatment until they become involved in the justice system. COMIO is a 12-member council of appointed subject matter experts that strive to end the criminalization of individuals with mental illness by supporting proven strategies that promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, a planned re-entry to society and the preservation of public safety. COMIO examines strategies that strengthen service coordination among state and local mental health, criminal justice, and juvenile justice programs. In addition, COMIO promotes strategies that improve the ability of adult and juvenile offenders with mental health needs to transition successfully between corrections-based, juvenile-based, and community-based treatment programs.
“Our mission at COMIO might seem daunting, but it is critically important,” said COMIO Chair and CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “We aim to build bridges between partners in criminal justice and mental health so that we can tackle this challenge collaboratively.”
Breaking the barrier of stigma
While effectively using our various roles in the criminal justice and mental health systems is important, achieving systemic change requires tackling stigma-based decision making. By raising awareness and consciousness, we can work to reduce the stigmas inflicting this population. Stigma leads to unfair judgment, and unfair judgment leads to unfair behavior and interaction.

Our collective challenge is to ensure stigma does not influence the policies and practices we use when working with individuals with mental health challenges. Particularly those who are, or who are at risk of becoming, incarcerated. Actions based in myths and misperceptions can reinforce the marginalized status of justice-involved individuals with mental illness, which can be far-reaching and significantly debilitating. For example, a person with mental illness arrested on theft, with no prior history of violence, should not have a higher bond than a person without mental illness who was arrested for the same crime.
COMIO focused on the three priority areas in 2016:
  • Diversion – Overcoming Barriers to Build Capacity for Effective Interventions
  • Training – Supporting Skills and Competencies Beyond First-Responders
  • Juvenile Justice – Understanding and Addressing the Needs of a Changing Population
Key themes
Waiting to address behavioral health needs until incarceration will pull scarce resources towards the wrong end of the system. The time to invest in strategies that divert individuals from incarceration and enhance service and housing capacity for those with high needs and risks is now. Difficult decisions are ahead for local and state policymakers. The COMIO report provides guidance and encourages decision-making that supports the individual living with behavioral health needs, as well as, and the various systems trying to serve that individual while fulfilling their own obligations and duties.
Below is a summary of the most pertinent key themes raised in the COMIO 2016 Annual Report.
  • The stigma associated with mental illness, substance use disorder, and justice status must be recognized and not tolerated to ensure that policies and practices do not perpetuate inequities.
  • Assumptions about what works and does not work must be challenged by insisting on measuring both reductions in recidivism and behavioral health symptoms.
  • The majority of justice-involved individuals with mental illness have a co-occurring substance use disorder which complicates treatment and recovery. Access to adequate services for co-occurring disorders, substance misuse, medical conditions and qualified staff is essential.
  • Sharing sensitive information, both health and justice data, is essential to target efforts to prevent incarceration.
  • Assessment tools must be utilized to identify the level of risk and need of each justice-involved individual with mental illness to assure that appropriate treatment and services are provided and directed towards reducing recidivism.
  • Maximize the use of federally supported Medi-Cal funding in all diversion efforts.
  • The housing crisis, high cost and accessibility of housing, and stigma towards justice-involved individuals with mental illness are real and present barriers to efforts to build and provide community alternatives to incarceration whether it be inpatient facilities, crisis residential, group homes, or independent living. Broad, comprehensive, and creative efforts beyond addressing the needs of the homeless or at-risk of homelessness are needed.
  • Support expanded efforts to keep individuals with mental illness out of jails through examining bail and pre-trial detention policies that have a disproportional impact on individuals with mental illness.
  • Consider how mental illness as a basis for diversion could be expanded. Review which offenses could be additionally considered for authorization of diversion.
  • Crisis response is not just about trained first responders. What is needed is a planned response that goes beyond the initial contact and leads to ongoing treatment in the community. Without developing these capacities, no amount of training can resolve law enforcement’s current burden.
  • Law enforcement and community correctional officers are faced with an increasingly challenging mental health population. They need opportunities to build skills and support their own well-being so they can perform an increasingly demanding job.
  • High-risk and high need justice-involved youth are congregating in our detention facilities and are in need of foster care reforms to be effective. Continued efforts to ensure the “difficult” to serve, particularly foster care youth, get the services they need, especially substance use treatment.
  • At a state-level prioritize support for data infrastructure, including at the local level, but only collect data needed to monitor trends to inform policies and practices. Support local entities gain the capacity for further research and evaluation efforts on best practices.
Future direction
It was a year of change for COMIO with the addition of new leadership, members and staff. COMIO embarked on efforts to strengthen our relationships with key partners across criminal justice and behavioral health systems. During this process we recognized a need to focus efforts on building bridges across systems to improve understanding of different perspectives and promote problem-solving to prevent incarceration.

Change has many positive outcomes, including an opportunity to look at COMIO’s priorities and accomplishments and adjust to seize existing opportunities and tackle challenges. In 2017, it will be a year of further change by re-structuring committee and council meetings. This will allow for more intensive issue-specific work in fewer areas with more input from state and local experts and stakeholders.

To follow COMIO’s work and to receive information about workshops and meetings, visit and subscribe to the monthly newsletter by emailing

For additional information or assistance with CDCR, contact the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Proposition 64 – Marijuana Legalization

Proposition 64 – Marijuana Legalization

Proposition 64 changes state law to legalize adult nonmedical use of marijuana; creates a system for regulating nonmedical marijuana businesses; imposes taxes on marijuana; and changes penalties for marijuana-related crimes.

Proposition 64 was approved by California voters on November 8, 2016. It changed penalties for future marijuana crimes, and changed state marijuana penalties. For example, possession of one ounce or less of marijuana was previously punishable by a $100 fine. In addition, selling marijuana for nonmedical purposes was punishable by up to four years in state prison or county jail. Under the new law, if under the age of 18, an individual would instead be required to attend a drug education or counseling program and complete community service. 

Also, selling marijuana without a license would be a crime generally punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Individuals engaging in any marijuana business activity without a license would be subject to a civil penalty of up to three times the amount of the license fee for each violation. The penalties for driving a vehicle while under the impairment of marijuana would remain the same. The new law requires the destruction of criminal records for individuals arrested or convicted for certain marijuana-related offenses within the past two years.

How the new law affects inmates in prison for marijuana crimes

  • Individuals previously convicted of marijuana crimes who are currently serving a state prison sentence for activities that are now legal or are subject to lesser penalties are eligible to petition for resentencing.
  • A court will not be required to resentence someone if it determined that the person was likely to commit certain severe crimes.
  • Qualifying individuals will be resentenced to whatever punishment they would have received under the new law.
  • Resentenced individuals currently in jail or prison will be subject to community supervision (such as probation) for up to one year following their release, unless a court removes that requirement.
  • Individuals who have completed sentences for crimes that are reduced by the measure can apply to the courts to have their criminal records changed.
  • No inmates from state prison will be automatically resentenced or released. Courts will determine whether an inmate meets the eligibility criteria and poses an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. 
Offender eligibility

As of Oct. 31, 2016, CDCR estimates that approximately 1,449 offenders under the department’s supervision (inmates and parolees) would be eligible to petition a court for resentencing.  The courts would then determine whether an inmate poses an unreasonable risk to public safety.

The resentencing process

Offenders must petition the court in which they were sentenced to have their felony marijuana-related convictions reduced. County courts would conduct resentencing hearings after determining whether the offender’s criminal history would make him/her eligible for resentencing. Under the new law, the court would be required to resentence eligible offenders unless it determines that resentencing would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.

In exercising its discretion, the court may consider all of the following:
  • Criminal history, including the type of crimes committed, the extent of injury to victims and the length of prior prison commitments
  • Disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated
  • Other evidence relevant to determine the risk to public safety 
Offenders whose requests for resentencing are denied by the courts would continue to serve out their terms as originally sentenced.

How will inmates become aware of the law change?

CDCR has identified the inmates who may be affected and has a process to educate them about the law change, including plans to:
  • Provide information in prison law libraries
  • Post notices in housing units
  • Broadcast information on prison video channels
  • Notify Inmate Advisory Council representatives

All information would be provided in English and Spanish. 

For additional information, please contact Albert Rivas at or Matthew Westbrook at or call the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.

CDCR is helping families receive an extra $6,000 this tax season

What would you do with an extra $6,000?

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is helping families receive an extra $6,000 this tax season.

California began offering its own Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC) starting with calendar year 2015 tax returns. This is a new refundable tax credit that puts money back in the pockets of California’s working families and individuals.

To receive free tax preparation assistance, visit the following link to find free tax assistance locations:

Cal EITC is modeled after a federal credit that also gives back money to working families. With the combined state and federal credits, the program provides up to $6,000. That’s money that can be used for rent, utilities, groceries, and other important expenses. The Maximum California refund a family can receive is $2,653. The only way to obtain the California EITC credit is to file your taxes.

The amount of the cash-back tax credit depends on individual income and family size. To qualify for at least one of the two cash-back credits, wages must be less than $54,000. The number of qualifying children supported also impacts the credit amount.

To be eligible for the Cal EITC cash-back program, you must have a W-2 and Social Security Number. Eligible income ranges from less than $6,560 with no dependents, and up to $13,870 for those with two or more dependents. If you have no dependents, you must be 25 to 65 years old.

Visit to get more information about qualifying child requirements or to use the credit calculator to find out how much cash-back tax credits are worth.

For information or assistance with CDCR, contact the Office of External Affairs
at (916) 445-4950.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

CDCR Announces Automated Email Notification Services for Crime Victims

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) announced they will begin using the new Automated Email Notification Services to better serve and communicate with crime victims starting in December 2016. The new Automated Email Notification Services will allow for a 90-day in advance email notification of release to crime victims whose offender is in CDCR custody. The system will also be able to immediately email victims and notify them of an escape or death of an offender. With the addition of this new service, CDCR will discontinue sending notifications through the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) service effective December 31, 2016.

In an effort to streamline notification requests and offender updates, CDCR began providing more electronic tools and services to victims and their family members over the past year.
For instance, during this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, OVSRS unveiled the new e1707, Request for Victim Services web form, which gives victims and their family members the option of using online services from their smartphone or any computer. This electronic service allows the victim to update their contact information and change requested services quickly and on their own time. Also, the CDCR Inmate ID Locator, allows victims and other members of the public to confirm an offender’s CDCR number and current prison location any time of the day.

Currently, CDCR delivers more than 20,000 notifications every year to victims of CDCR offenders. CDCR has approximately 117,000 offenders in its 35 institutions and another 14,000 offenders in its out-of-state correctional facilities, community correctional facilities and conservation camps.If you or a family member is a victim of a crime, it is vital that you register for available services provided by CDCR. Registering with the department will allow you access to a menu of services including notification of release, escape or death of an offender, collection of court ordered restitution, assistance with the parole hearing process and requests for special conditions of parole. Also, if you have been a victim in the past of an offender that is currently in a CDCR prison or has been under the jurisdiction of CDCR in the past, OVSRS may have collected restitution on your behalf. Please contact our office toll free at 1-877-256-6877 or via email at
victims can register for services online at

For all other non-victim-related services, you can contact CDCR Inmate Locator at (916) 445-6713 or access the online service at:

For more information about CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services, visit CDCR’s website at

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