New agents strive to help entire families support parolees’ turn around
Adriane Guzman beams when talking about her new role in helping parolees change their lives for the better.
It’s not just the opportunity to help parolees adjust to their lives on the outside that gives her optimism. It’s knowing that the entire Division of Adult Parole Operations is firmly behind a new action plan called “3 Years to Excellence” and its focus on working with a parolee’s entire family that give her confidence she and her classmates will have an even higher rate of success.
“Everyone, whether they’re an offender or not, does better when they are supported by a family system,” said Guzman, the elected Class Leader for the parole academy class graduating from the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center in Galt today.
She would know.
Guzman has earned a Master’s in Social Work and she’s worked in CDCR institutions for 14 years. She’s been a social worker, a juvenile case work specialist and a correctional counselor. And after today’s commencement ceremonies, she will be a Parole Agent II-Specialist with the Male Alternative Custody Program.
She feels the new Family System Theory is the best way forward.
“Everyone has a better shot at succeeding this way because the family can be a huge impact on a person’s decision-making,” she said. “When you have those around you with whom you have the closest bonds, they can have a very strong influence on your behavior. The parole agent can’t be the only influential person in their lives, that’s not the most effective way.
“But within the new model, we’ll invite the family, wives, or adult children, and get them to be part of the treatment and rehabilitation goals since the initial interview,” Guzman said
Hearing Guzman’s enthusiasm for the new model sent an instant jolt of pride through Jamal Rowe, the Acting Unit Supervisor for the Division Training Unit.
His message to the academy students was an enthusiastic, “Congratulations, I encourage you to go out there and be the change.”
Because change and renewal, he said, is what this is all about. He said it’s crucial to increasing public safety in California communities when inmates leave the institutions and become our neighbors again.
That’s what motivates him to help define the new concepts to include in the lesson plans for incoming agents. The lesson plans included new techniques and technologies used by DAPO in implementing its California Parole Supervision Integration Model, such as enhanced case supervision, motivational processes, mental health training, communication with parolees, self-care and of course, family integration techniques.
For student Tracie Martin, the evolution of the parole academy’s curriculum is clearly evident. This is her second time around.
She first attended the academy and became a parole agent in 2000. But changes in 2013 caused her to leave DAPO and work as a correctional counselor.
Now, she’s back as a Parole Agent II for Court Compliance on the Armstrong case settlement.
Her personal goal is to help our “communities become safer.” And to that end, she’s confident in the direction the department is taking.
Martin said she is also convinced that with “the increased intervention that will come from bringing families, rehabilitative programs and resources together to create behavioral change in parolees’ lives, together, this academy class and the current agents will be better prepared to keep recidivism down and Californians safer.”
She’s glad to be back. “This is where my heart is,” Martin said.
She and Guzman had only praise for their fellow classmates.
“This class has a lot of wonderful people,” said Martin.
Guzman agreed, noting that the majority of her classmates are middle-aged public servants, many of whom are former probation officers.
She saluted them for taking 10 weeks to live and study at the academy, away from their children and spouses, in order to prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
The Fall Graduating Class of the California Division of Adult Parole Operations includes:
- Samuel Arong
- Terri Baber
- Pablo Bailon
- Zina Bates
- Jermaine Brooks
- Shelbie Brooks
- Grace Campbell-Perkins
- Daniel Carroll
- Fernando Espinoza
- Andrew Fales
- Ricardo Franco
- Conrad Gonzales
- Jeremiah Gonzales
- Diedre Greene
- Antonio Gutierrez
- Adriane Guzman
- Brian Hernandez
- Heather Homan
- Jeff Jenkins
- Marvin Rodas-Rosales
- Jeffrey Ju
- Troy Libonati
- Mario Marquez
- Tracy Martin
- Albert Medina
- Macaria Orgazan
- Rodolfo Perez
- Tiffany Riley
- Anna Rodriguez-Keoho
- Bret Sanders
- Greg Sewell
- Margaret Tagle
- Erick Tinoco
- Tracy Tomasian
- Frank Torres
- Dorsey Tyson
- James Wise
- Juanita Zambrano
- Samuel Zarco