CDCR has awarded $4 million in grants to volunteer and community-based organizations in its continued effort to enhance rehabilitative programs and activities in California state prisons. The grants were awarded for a period of three years, for a total of $12 million in funding. CDCR will use the Innovative Programming Grants to help balance offerings and provide opportunities at prisons that historically may not have a large number of volunteer-led programs.
Meet Lavell Jackson, a newlywed who spent part of his honeymoon visiting the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) to thank Executive Officer Jennifer Shaffer and her team for their role in his freedom.In November 2017, BPH approved Lavell Jackson’s parole under Proposition 57. Jackson, who was serving a sentence for petty theft with priors, was eligible for parole review under the Non-Violent Parole Process (NVPP). Eligible inmates who have served the full-term of their primary offense undergo a thorough public safety screening before being referred to BPH. They are reviewed for release based on their criminal history, institutional records, and input from the inmate, victims, and the prosecuting District Attorney’s Office. He paroled in January 2018.
Meet Earlonne Woods, the producer of “Ear Hustle,” an award-winning podcast that until recently was produced solely inside the walls of San Quentin State Prison. The podcast, which began in 2017, was created by Woods, fellow incarcerated journalist Antwan Williams, and volunteer Nigel Poor. Their concept to tell stories of life inside exploded into an international success when the podcast won Radiotopia’s Podquest competition, winning against 1,537 entries from 53 countries.