Recognizing the benefits of theater for all people, the Actors’ Gang will soon offer a pilot program for CDCR correctional officers. The Actors’ Gang Correctional Officer Experience will be held over two days in Corona, where professional actors will work with officers in a first-of-its-kind program developed for correctional officers. The voluntary class is designed for California’s sworn correctional peace officers, with an emphasis on line officers, and is offered in partnership with the Actors’ Gang, California Endowment and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.
Josh Walton, incarcerated at High Desert State Prison, acted quickly when his young daughters’ pent-up enthusiasm began bursting over and they started chattering loudly and squirming about. But he didn’t look annoyed at all. Walton doesn’t get many chances to be an in-person dad alongside his wife, Christin. That’s why the Get On The Bus (GOTB) program is so important to him and his family, as it offers families the opportunity to spend a whole day with their incarcerated loved ones, at no expense to the families.
On Father’s Day and all year long, organizations like the Place4Grace are working to ensure families impacted by incarceration stay connected and supported. Through Place4Grace, men incarcerated at Valley State Prison (VSP) were able to hear about the importance of being connected and rehabilitation from an Emmy Award-nominated actor with a powerful story to tell.
A friendly competition is spreading through state prisons, as CDCR’s physical education coaches help their inmate students demonstrate how important a healthy lifestyle is. In addition to teachers, principals and librarians, each state prison employs a coach, whose job is to educate inmates in physical fitness and overall wellness. At California Men’s Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo, Coach Bruce Ferrall has taken it to the next level, playing to his students’ competitive natures with the Wall of Fame, which invites inmates to perform various exercises in an attempt to set and beat records.
Change is rippling throughout the California prison system, and an Academy Award-winning musician is helping provide the soundtrack. Teaming up with his friend and movie producer Scott Budnick, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and the California Endowment, Common spent the better part of a week this spring sharing his music with inmates and staff at four CDCR prisons.