For a quarter century, corrections veteran Karen Mory has worked to dismantle preconceptions and stereotypes in her own life as well as those of the offenders. Mory began her career working with youth offenders. She moved on to parole and eventually became a special agent for the Office of Correctional Safety’s (OCS) Special Service Unit (SSU). She’s done much in the department from helping youth offenders get on the right path to helping topple gang leaders. Special Agent Mory is one of only 32 SSU agents in the entire state. As she puts it, “SSU is CDCR’s 24-hour response team that ensures safety, decreases liabilities, restores justice and resolves emergency issues to preserve the reputation and sanctity of CDCR.”
San Quentin Correctional Officer Mike Begley is quick with a smile and a firm handshake. He’s worked at California’s oldest prison since 1989. For all but two years of his 28-year career, his workplace has been death row. “There are a lot of new people here at San Quentin. … In the last few years, a lot of people have retired. Makes me wonder what I’m still doing here,” he said, cracking a smile.
A prison can be described as a “city within a city,” where people live, work, go to school, attend church services and participate in recreational activities. At California State Prison-Solano (SOL), five associate wardens (AWs) are charged with helping that “city” run smoothly.
For more than three decades, Harvey Watson helped keep parolees on the straight and narrow. In 1975, the department featured his story as a “Day in the Life” of a parole agent. His son, Harvey Watson, Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps. Inside CDCR caught up with the younger agent Watson to see what’s changed over the decades.
Newscam, an early version of Inside CDCR, followed Los Angeles Parole Agent Harvey Watson throughout his day in 1975.
Everyone needs support at least every once in a while and Rosanna Rodriguez helps ensure they get it as CDCR’s Peer Support Program (PSP) Statewide Coordinator.