Cadets from the first graduating class of the Ventura Training Center (VTC) recently received their certificates of completion for the enhanced firefighter training program. Cadets spent 22 weeks learning and training in courses such as firefighter safety, cmmunications, structural firefighting and hazardous materials. “These firefighters offer an invaluable public service and help protect our communities in their time of great need,” said Ralph Diaz, Secretary, CDCR.
As she approached the Soledad Correctional Training Facility for the first time, Willow Lee was nervous about meeting the men who would be her classmates for 10 weeks. She was intimidated by the checkpoints, barbed wire, and clanking gates.But when she entered the prison chapel and saw 28 incarcerated men waiting eagerly to greet each of their UC Santa Cruz counterparts with a handshake, she felt a wave of positive emotions wash over her. “The men looked me in the eye,” she recalled. “I felt welcomed.”
Agencies dedicated to providing services to the victim and survivor community rallied together alongside advocacy groups at Fremont Park in Sacramento April 10 for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The ceremony and resource faire included 12 vendor booths and inspirational words from leaders and champions of the national movement to give victims and survivors of crime a voice and hope for a greater future. The event was hosted by CDCR’s Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services (OVSRS).
When Health Program Specialist Teresa McCord isn’t at her day job at Mule Creek State Prison, she can usually be found helping coordinate educational opportunities for students visiting from other countries. As the education coordinator for Cultural Homestay International (CHI), she handles students from 20 countries. While in the U.S., the teens get to experience life as an American student visiting places like San Francisco, Disneyland and state parks. Inside CDCR caught up with McCord to find out about her other job beyond the prison walls.
Participating in the popular community event, the Division of Adult Parole Operations rolled into Long Beach’s Touch A Truck where more than 100 vehicles were displayed for a crowd of 10,000. It’s one of the many ways CDCR employees engage with the communities in which they serve.
Early in the state’s history, those who walked the walls and halls of the first prisons helped establish and mold the modern correctional profession. One such individual was Captain of the Yard A.C. McAllister who earned the respect of the inmates at San Quentin and went on to help serve the indigent and elderly in Marin County. As part of an ongoing effort to tell the stories of early penologists,, Inside CDCR took a closer look at McAllister’s life.