Unlocking History: Farmer-turned-warden fosters agriculture at Folsom prison

Unlocking History: Farmer-turned-warden fosters agriculture at Folsom prison

In the 1880s, John Joseph Smith worked on his father’s farm, but seeing a low return on investment, he decided farming wasn’t in his future. The 21-year-old Smith set off to try a different career path – the state prison system. The farm boy was the youngest officer in the state prison system in 1889. He eventually worked his way up to become warden. In all, he had 37 years of state service when he left in 1927.

Valley State Prison Youth Offender Program hosts obedience dog graduation

Valley State Prison Youth Offender Program hosts obedience dog graduation

The head facilitator penned a piece describing a recent dog program graduation. “On Oct. 3, Valley State prison (VSP) held it second Youth Offender Program (YOP) obedience dog graduation. It was a tremendous success. Our program is committed to assisting in the overall development and basic obedience training of rescued dogs that come into our care. We believe that rescue dogs deserve to be treated kindly and ultimately adopted by a family who can love them unconditionally. We had two of our beloved dogs graduate with flying colors, ‘Toby’ who is a Chihuahua/Dauchsund mix, and ‘Hank’ who is a cocker spaniel.”

CDCR puts its high quality of schools in the spotlight

CDCR puts its high quality of schools in the spotlight

Education is the gift that can never be taken away – once you learn something, it’s yours to keep. That’s the message Shannon Swain sends to students every time she visits a prison. As Superintendent of the Office of Correctional Education (OCE) for CDCR, Swain and her team are committed to providing opportunities for academic growth during incarceration. In 2019, they’ll kick off a first-of-its-kind program to recognize correctional schools of excellence.