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 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.
For more than three decades, Harvey Watson helped keep parolees on the straight and narrow. In 1975, the department featured his story as a “Day in the Life” of a parole agent. His son, Harvey Watson, Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps. Inside CDCR caught up with the younger agent Watson to see what’s changed over the decades.
Newscam, an early version of Inside CDCR, followed Los Angeles Parole Agent Harvey Watson throughout his day in 1975.
Everyone needs support at least every once in a while and Rosanna Rodriguez helps ensure they get it as CDCR’s Peer Support Program (PSP) Statewide Coordinator.
CALPIA Industrial Supervisor Keith Archibald helps to oversee the daily production of approximately 1,600 prescription eyewear at VSP’s optical lab. There are 108 offenders working at VSP Optical, and Archibald oversees 20 of them.
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.
Dr. Morton Rosenberg, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Statewide Dental Director, works tirelessly so the system he manages can provide inmates the care they need to escape their dental discomfort and deter serious health problems.
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.
A common question people ask a Correctional Public Health Nurse (PHN) is simple, “What do you do?” But the answer is anything but simple for Prashanta Janz-Navarro.