The California Correctional Center (CCC) celebrated its 50 anniversary on May 15 with a ceremony that brought back some of the original staff and highlighted the institution’s long service to California.
“The walls were built in 1963,” said Warden Bob Gower. “Now we have children here from their parents who worked at this place. Grandchildren working here, and it’s been great for the community. It’s been great for our families to have a good job to go to. The walls are up. The mission has stayed the same. The way that it’s been challenged has changed and we continue to evolve with that.”
He also thanked CCC staff for their “dedication and years of service.”
Undersecretary of Operations Martin Hoshino said that CDCR is at the forefront of employing the latest in methods to efficiently and safely manage inmates and institutions.
“There is a phenomena occurring not just in California but across the nation called evidence based programming and evidence based practices which is about using more science in the approach to public safety and criminal justice solutions and outcomes along the way,” he said. “It’s really almost an industry unto itself. The word recidivism becomes common vernacular over and over again down to the detailed sciences about how you actually measure it.”
He praised CCC for contributing to CDCR’s mission to reduce recidivism through programs such as firefighting and Pups on Parole.
“With all of this high-powered stuff going on throughout the nation and all of the politics related to that,” he said, “who would have thought you would actually find one of the most progressive, result-oriented operations in criminal justice in little old Susanville. An amazing thing actually happens here, which is you are taking men who were originally here because they were threats to public safety and actually transforming them into the protectors of public safety in the forms of the things that they do, and I don’t think that point could ever be overstated. It’s really, truly a remarkable thing.”
Michale D. Stainer, deputy director of the Division of Adult Institutions, was the opening speaker and Lassen County Supervisor Jim Chapman gave a brief history of the institution.
Chapman said CCC’s early days were “a different time and the politics were a lot different. Everybody worked together. You didn’t see the divisions you do today. Back then the political leadership looked to work for the common good.”
He concluded his speech saying, “As a kid growing up, I was proud to be from Susanville, and I was proud of the fact that we had the California Correctional Center.”
Matt Mullin, chief deputy warden, opened the program and acted as master of ceremonies. California Correctional Center and High Desert State Prison Honor Guard performed the presentation of colors.
CCC’s primary mission is to receive, house and train minimum-custody inmates for placement into one of 18 Northern California conservation camps. The institution also provides work, training and education programs for inmates.