By OPEC Staff

The Lassen County Veterans Association presented Correctional Officer Joanne “Jo” Vice the Officer of the Year award for the California Correctional Center (CCC) on Nov. 14.

Officer Vice began her career with CDCR by attending the Correctional Officer Academy in Galt that began April 13, 1996.  She was assigned to CCC on May 25, 1996.

Throughout her career; she has held numerous positions of responsibility, continually displaying a high degree of excellence and professionalism. She was cited for her honesty and ethical behavior.

She is a central component to the delivery of humanitarian services to families in need at CCC, the award states.  Her enthusiasm and “can-do” attitude transforms lives. Officer Vice sustains a long-term commitment to help bring about a new perspective about how to meet the needs of families in distress.  This occurs because she has taken the time to know her co-workers and has earned their trust.

She is an active member of the Susanville Chapter of the Blue Star Moms. She actively contributes to deployed soldiers and recently became a member of the Peer Support Program (PSP) at CCC. PSP helps staff and their families in need and donating time for training.

She is the mother of five children. She also trains and competes in half-marathons.

CVSP inmates raise more than $1,300 to fight cancer

By Lt. Jeanette Crandall

Administrative Assistant/ PIO

Inmates at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) organized a Cancer Walk with all proceeds going to the Blythe Cancer Resource Center (BCRC).

Staff pictured left to right center in the photo are Capt. Dave Hurley; Warden (A) Maurice Gonzales; and Capt. Gale McKinney.

The inmates came to Capt. Gale McKinney with the idea of all of the yards participating and challenging each other to raise the most money.

The inmates, along with Capt. McKinney as their point of contact, organized the walk on each facility. The walks were Nov. 9 and Nov. 16. All inmates were able to participate.

The inmates could donate money from their trust accounts to go to BCRC. Donations ranged from $1 to $100.  Some inmates who were not able to participate in the walk showed their support by displaying paintings, drawings, and support banners.  The 972 inmates participating in the event raised more than $1,300 for the BCRC.

Staff members James Browder, associate warden (A) programs; Capt. Dave Hurley; Capt. McKinney; Neil McDowell, chief deputy warden (A); and Warden (A) Maurice Gonzales also walked in support of this fund-raiser.

Veterans among CRC inmates raise $6,000 for charity

By Lt. Martin Alexi

Administrative Assistant/ PIO

Three local groups recently benefitted from $6,000 raised during a Veterans Day food sale sponsored by Veterans in Prison, an Inmate Leisure Activity Group (ILTAG), at the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) at Norco.

Warden Cynthia Y. Tampkins, left, presents a $2,000.00 donation to, representative Brandon Varn of Soldiers Angels. Correctional Sgt. D. Jackson is at right. Her son died in Iraq while serving on active duty.

All the money donated was in behalf of Army Specialist Cameron Payne, son of Correctional Sgt. D. Jackson who died in Iraq while serving on active duty.

The recipients, each receiving $2,000, were:

• A scholarship given to a student of Lee V. Pollard High School, from which Cameron Payne graduated in 2003.

• The Corona-Norco Rescue Mission.

• Soldiers’ Angels, which provides aid and comfort to the men and women of U.S. military.

Chicano workers group at CVSP donate dinners

By Lt. Jeanette Crandall

Administrative Assistant/ PIO

The Chicano Correctional Worker’s Association Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) continued its annual tradition of giving back to the community by donating four Thanksgiving dinners to families on Nov. 20.

The families, selected by Riverside County Department of Mental Health Services staff, were given turkeys and all the trimmings, just in time for the holiday.

NKSP staff helped needy Delano families

By George Becerra

Administrative Assistant/ PIO

North Kern State Prison staff took part in its Annual Thanksgiving Food Basket competition on Nov. 19.

Here are some of the NKSP staff who stuffed Thanksgiving baskets

Staff stuffed 32 baskets with non-perishables food items, including a gift certificate for a turkey or perishable items, to help needy families during the holiday season.

Staff interacted with families, helped load vehicles with food items and wished the families a Happy Thanksgiving.

NKSP partnered with the Delano Community Connections to identify the 32 local families.