Death row officer reflects on nearly three decades working at San Quentin

San Quentin Correctional Officer Mike Begley is quick with a smile and a firm handshake. He’s worked at California’s oldest prison since 1989. For all but two years of his 28-year career, his workplace has been death row. “There are a lot of new people here at San Quentin. … In the last few years, a lot of people have retired. Makes me wonder what I’m still doing here,” he said, cracking a smile.

A Day in the Life: Associate Wardens wear many hats

A prison can be described as a “city within a city,” where people live, work, go to school, attend church services and participate in recreational activities. At California State Prison-Solano (SOL), five associate wardens (AWs) are charged with helping that “city” run smoothly.

A Day in the Life: Construction Supervisor helps inmates hammer out futures

When people think about life behind bars, they don’t generally think of hard hats and hammers. However, that’s exactly what’s happening at California State Prison, Solano (SOL), in the Inmate Ward Labor (IWL) program. Lee Vang, Construction Supervisor I, is overseeing a large-scale project currently underway where dozens of inmates are working alongside union craft workers on a new medical clinic.

Day in the Life: Personnel Specialist embodies customer service

People expect paychecks and overtime checks to be on time and accurate. When people make withholding and exemption changes, they also expect them to be immediate. On the front line of ensuring everyone gets paid for their work are Personnel Specialists like Ayana Cherry, who works at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Headquarters.