CDCR Time Capsule 1877: Report sheds light on inmates, staff actions during massive fire

An 1877 report of the prison directors shows the determination of staff as they dealt with a devastating fire that destroyed sleeping areas for over 200 inmates as well as cooking areas, the mess-hall and workshops. The report also sheds light on the views of prison management regarding rehabilitation efforts. On Feb. 28, 1876, fire swept through part of San Quentin State Prison, destroying “the main workshops and machinery” as well as the kitchens, according to Lt. Gov. James A. Johnson, director of the prison at the time, in his biennial report to the governor. The military and police from San Francisco, numbering 83 strong, helped secure the prison’s perimeter while inmates, staff and firemen from San Francisco fought the blaze.

NKSP staff roll up sleeves, CEN inmates walk to fight cancer

On Dec. 12, North Kern State Prison staff held another blood drive, donating 61 pints. Since 2014, NKSP staff have donated 535 pints. That’s the equivalent of 67 gallons. Meanwhile at Centinela State Prison, inmates walked to raise money and awareness to fight cancer.

Beyond the Badge: CDCR officers help at-risk kids in ‘Big’ way

It’s a small action with a massive impact: spending time with a child. The simple act of sharing space and time with a young person can cause ripple effects that last a lifetime, and those effects can be even greater if the adult is committed to public safety and community service. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sacramento Area (BBBS) is partnering with regional law enforcement to create those officer/child partnerships, and a CDCR couple with strong correctional safety ties has stepped up to serve.

Medal of Valor nominations due by end of January

The nominating period is open for Medal of Valor honors through Jan. 31, 2019, for employees and community members who distinguished themselves by acts of heroism, bravery, or service beyond the normal demands of correctional/community service. (Form attached.)

Unlocking History: 1904 murders change state’s inheritance laws

Adolph Weber was a young man from a well-off family. Why he chose to throw a mask over his face and rob a bank in 1904 is a matter of speculation. Even more shocking was the slaughter of his parents and two siblings. The Weber case set in motion new laws to prevent family members convicted of murder from inheriting their victims’ assets. His case went all the way to the state Supreme Court and finally finished at the end of a rope at Folsom State Prison.

Above the Call: SVSP nurse helps accident victim in car crushed by semi

After a long day at work at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP), RN Kimberly Houtz got in her car and began driving home on Highway 101, much like any other day. Ahead of her, she saw a semi-truck turn in front of a car, causing the smaller vehicle to slam into one of its trailers, becoming trapped underneath. That’s when her training kicked-in, not knowing the driver of the trapped vehicle was a correctional officer.