Tuesday, May 31, 2016

CDCR Launches Live Chat Service for Victims

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS), is pleased to announce Live Chat victim services.

Victims and concerned citizens are encouraged to access the new Live Chat feature by visiting
www.CDCR.CA.gov/victims. Live Chat will connect the public directly to an OVSRS staff member during regular business hours to ask questions about victim services or to stay informed about offender locations. As a trial period, Live Chat will be available through June 30, 2016. The new technology is designed to provide convenient confidential service from various devices including a smart phone and a computer.

OVSRS is committed to providing crime victims and their families with a voice while serving to increase awareness about the criminal justice system. Staff will remain available by phone at
(877) 256-6877.

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

CDCR partners with Each Mind Matters Campaign

May is Mental Health Month, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is sporting the lime green ribbon to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and encourage support. In collaboration with California’s Mental Health Movement: Each Mind Matters, CDCR rallied around programs to promote a community conversation.

Each Mind Matters campaign emphasizes the importance of these resources for offenders, and encourages information sharing and support amongst friends, families, colleagues and communities.

“Even though one in four Californians will experience a diagnosable mental health problem in any given year and over half of us will at some point during our lifetime, a survey of Californians found that 75 percent of us would definitely or probably hide a mental health problem from coworkers or classmates.

Considering that mental health problems are treatable and most people experience recovery, these numbers are a concern and we should be part of the solution in changing them,” Secretary Scott Kernan added.

Secretary Scott Kernan
Photo by Scott Sabicer
In recognition of CDCR’s May is Mental Health month, representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Know the Signs, California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), Disability Rights California (DRC) and Wellness Works agencies participated in the event.

Among the exhibiters was the Office of Employee Health and Wellness, CDCR. The office serves as an outlet within the Department to provide suicide prevention, program services such as peer support or employee assistance, including other services to staff state-wide.

Looking for more tools and resources related to California’s Mental Health Movement? Make sure to visit www.eachmindmatters.org for more information about how to support someone with behavioral health needs or to have a positive impact in your community.
For assistance or information or about CDCR, please call the Office of External Affairs at
(916) 445-4950.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Governor Brown Announces Appointments

Office of the Governor
Contact: Governor's Press Office
Thursday, May 12, 2016(916) 445-4571

Governor Brown Announces Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Jay Virbel, 50, of Sacramento, has been appointed director of the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he has been associate director of female offender programs and services since 2012 and served as assistant deputy director of facility operations from 2011 to 2012. Virbel held several positions at the Board of Parole Hearings from 2008 to 2011, including chief deputy of program operations and chief of investigations. He was senior special agent at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Internal Affairs from 2007 to 2008, where he was a special agent from 2005 to 2007. Virbel served in several positions at the California Medical Facility, Vacaville from 1994 to 2005, including lieutenant, sergeant and correctional officer. He was a correctional officer at California State Prison, Los Angeles County from 1993 to 1994. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $165,360. Virbel is a Republican.

Chad Cabral, 43, of Walnut Creek, has been appointed to the 23rd District Agricultural Association, Contra Costa County Fair Board of Directors. Cabral has been a realtor with Century 21 Real Estate since 2015 and co-owner at Cabral Livestock since 2010. He was assistant general manager for the Solano County Fair from 2008 to 2010 and general manager for the Grand National Rodeo Horse and Stock Show from 2000 to 2008. Cabral is president of the Contra Costa County 4-H Council. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Cabral is a Republican.

Michael Stevens, 64, of Victorville, has been appointed to the 28th District Agricultural Association, San Bernardino County Fair Board of Directors. Stevens has been owner at Stevens Consulting Services since 2006. He was community resource officer at Keadjian Associates LLC in 2014, community liaison officer at the Mojave Water Agency from 2003 to 2012 and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1994. Stevens is a member of Desert Communities United Way. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Stevens is registered without party preference.

Linda Newman, 57, of Alturas, has been appointed to the 34th District Agricultural Association, Modoc District Fair Board of Directors. Newman is a member of the Modoc Performing Arts Theater and reunion coordinator for Newark High School Class of 1976 Reunion Committee. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Newman is a Republican.

Katherine McDowell, 49, of Cobb, has been appointed to the 49th District Agricultural Association, Lake County Fair Board of Directors. McDowell has been an independent real estate broker with the Real Estate Alliance since 2015. She was an independent real estate broker from 2006 to 2015 and a real estate broker with Century 21 Real Estate from 2000 to 2006. McDowell is communications director at the Middletown Sports Boosters Club. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. McDowell is a Republican.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Friday, May 6, 2016

Richard J. Donovan Host Middle East Dignitaries

SAN DIEGO – Under the auspices of the United States, State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, Lt. Philip Bracamonte greeted a delegation of nine foreign dignitaries from the Middle East for a planned visit of Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF).

Through the use of the State Department Arabic Speaking interpreter, Warden Daniel Paramo explained the complex mission of the institution.  Warden Paramo also spoke to the delegation about one of RJDCF’s primary functions which is to house and treat high risk medical inmates including inmates suffering from a mental illness.  Warden Paramo went over the state’s classification levels and the fact that RJDCF houses both Low Level inmates to High Security Level IV inmates.

“Currently we average about 3200 inmates at RJDCF, and about 70% are in the mental health program.”  Warden Paramo explained. 

Warden Paramo also said, “With the construction of a new facility almost complete, soon our inmate population will increase by approximately 800 inmates, and so will our mental health population.  This will mean RJDCF will have one of the highest populations of seriously mentally ill inmates to house and provide treatment for in the state.”   

Lt. Bracamonte pointed out, “RJDCF averages about 30,000 scheduled health care appointments a month for medical and mental health treatment for inmates.”  One member of the delegation inquired if that was for the whole state.  “No, that is for just this institution.” Lt. Bracamonte said.      
The delegation was particularly interested with how the institution deals with gang activity. Investigative Services Unit (ISU) Officers informed the group of the different methods for obtaining information critical to the safety and security of the institution and the public safety for communities outside of prison walls.  ISU also told the delegation about how prison investigators often collaborate with other agencies both local and federal to combat criminal activity.

Lt. Bracamonte explained the inmate due process both administrative and criminal as well as the inmate work incentive programs.  Community Resource Manager Robert Brown talked about different rehabilitative programs and inmate voluntary programs available to inmates at the prison.  One of the interesting programs was RJDCF’s service dog program, where inmates train services dogs for children with autism and military personnel suffering from PTSD.  

The delegation toured the institution’s Prison Industry Authority where Lisa Gularte, Prison Industry Authority (PIA) Administrator talked about the different enterprises at the prison and explained the pay earned and job skills learned.  Ms. Gularte informed the delegation the shoe factory was capable of producing up to 2, 000 shoes a day which are then delivered to other prisons. 

While touring the Facility B recreational yard, members of the delegation were inquiring about the colored vest some inmates were wearing.  Warden Paramo explained in detail to the delegation the American Disability Act (ADA).  He informed the group, the colored vests identify certain inmates as members of ADA and prison staff will provide inmates with equal access to services and provide effective communication. 

Members of the delegation spoke with some of the Substance Abuse Treatment Counselors, while visiting the treatment area.  RJDCF’s Principal Kathy Balakian also talked to the delegation about Career Technical Education (CTE) programs at the prison.  Some inmates that participate in these CTE programs can receive certificates that can be utilized when they are released from prison. 

At the conclusion of the visit the interpreter wanted the Warden to know that the delegation expressed their gratitude to him and his staff.  Saying they know he is a busy man with having to manage all the different operations at the prison, but were extremely grateful to him for making time for them.  They also said they were very impressed with staff and thankful for their hospitality.
For more information about RJDCF, please contact Lt. Philip Bracamonte at (619) 661-6500 or email Philip.Bracamonte@cdcr.ca.gov

To learn more about the CDCR or to inquire about facility tours, please contact Albert Rivas, Deputy Chief, Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950 or email Albert.Rivas@cdcr.ca.gov