CDCR Unlocked

by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Welcome to CDCR Unlocked, which will explore correctional issues including rehabilitation and reentry, peace officer recruitment, employee wellness and other criminal justice topics. It will also feature interviews with and profiles of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) executives, administrators, staff, volunteers and community partners. The name “CDCR Unlocked” was chosen from more than 250 entrie ...   ...  Read more

Podcast episodes

  • Season 3

  • The Multigenerational Impact of Education Cannot be Overstated

    The Multigenerational Impact of Education Cannot be Overstated

    This podcast briefly covers DRP-TV and its goals and outcomes for rehabilitation.  Kevin Gaser is our featured guest.  The podcast is produced, recorded, and mixed by Frank Harrison with additional production by Angela Lee.

  • Recruitment on the road at High Desert State Prison

    Recruitment on the road at High Desert State Prison

    In this episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast, Sergeant Corey Ringer takes a trip back to the institution where his CDCR career started, High Desert State Prison. There, Ringer talks to Business Manager I Joseph Shelton and Correctional Officers Audrina Wannamaker and Patrick Parrish about their jobs, the camaraderie found working in an institution, and what it’s like living in the Susanville area. Learn more about becoming a CDCR Correctional Officer.

  • Freedom to create: SVSP mural artists

    Freedom to create: SVSP mural artists

    Where some would see thousands of square feet of gray prison walls, a group of artists at Salinas Valley State Prison saw blank canvases. With the support of staff and enthusiasm to change their environment, incarcerated artists joined forces to create colorful, beautiful, and meaningful murals throughout the institution. Those supporters include Associate Warden Veronica Lomeli, a lifelong art enthusiast with an outlook aligned with the California Model’s foundational pillar of normalization – creating prison environments that more closely resemble the community. Lomeli, now at Central California Women’s Facility, started the mural program during her time at the Soledad prison in an effort to reduce violence by creating a more welcoming environment. “I decided to bring my love and passion for the arts into my workplace. I love to see a gray wall be transformed into a beautiful piece of art,” she said. “Bringing something you love into your workplace makes humans motivated and enthusiastic to go to work and creates a sense of loyalty toward the organization.” In this episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast, Lomeli and two of the artists – Manny Frias and Santiago Madrigal – share the origins of the project and its impact on the prison. They also express gratitude to the prison’s staff and leadership for supporting the murals and welcoming the positive changes happening at Salinas Valley State Prison.

  • Season 2

  • Correctional Education: Excellence in action

    Correctional Education: Excellence in action

    The Mountain Oaks Adult Education Center has earned distinction, standing out as an innovator committed to excellence in correctional education. Mountain Oaks operates inside California Medical Facility (CMF), serving students of all academic and physical abilities. This is the third CDCR Distinguished School, following the Robert E. Burton Adult School at San Quentin Rehabilitation Center in 2019 and Vista Del Rio Adult School at California Rehabilitation Center in 2021. The distinction is intended to be a collaborative one, rooted in the strong belief that the schools inside California prisons deserve recognition and acclaim that will accompany the Distinguished School Award honor. In this episode of the CDCR Unlocked Podcast, Superintendent Shannon Swain shares the Office of Correctional Education’s vision for education, as well as how CMF’s school stands out as an example of excellence. She also shares her experiences witnessing the transformative power of education and how its benefits ripple across generations.

  • We can be Heroes: CDCR implements Active Bystandership training

    We can be Heroes: CDCR implements Active Bystandership training

    CDCR is empowering employees to not only do the right thing, but to influence others to also do the right thing. The department has partnered with Heroes, an organization that provides Active Bystandership training for corrections, fire and rescue, and health care departments. This training teaches employees when and how to effectively intervene in several situations, from deescalating tense situations, stepping in to stop a mistake that could cause harm, or recognizing the signs of work-related stress that may lead to emotional or physical harm. Active bystandership helps create an environment where all employees pitch in to make a more effective system, with each member knowing they are supportive by a team. Active Bystandership is not a whistleblower program – it is designed to teach evidence-based strategies to perform and receive an intervention in ways that are respectful and effective. Sgt. Corey Ringer and Captain Jeremy Brown chat with Abigail Tucker and Greg Hanna of Heroes Active Bystandership. They discuss how active bystandership increases safety and employee wellness, and how knowing when and how to intervene are key. They are joined by Sgt. Michael Ryer, who has been trained to teach the course at CDCR. Visit the Heroes website to earn more about Heroes Active Bystandership for Corrections.