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 2

  • Plan now for a relaxing retirement

    Plan now for a relaxing retirement

    In the latest episode of CDCR Unlocked, representatives from CDCR’s Office of Employee Wellness sit down with Brian Hinton of Savings Plus to talk retirement. Savings Plus is the voluntary retirement program for state employee that allows them to supplement retirement benefits through tax-deferred and Roth payroll contributions.Hinton, Sgt. Corey Ringer, Kathryn Jue and Mai HerHolloway discuss the importance of making contributions to Savings Plus, how to get the most out of those contributions, and the many workshops and webinars available to all state employees to learn more about financial literacy.Recorded July 10, 2023CDCR staff: Sgt. Corey Ringer, Mai Her-Holloway & Kathryn JueEpisode featured: Brian Hinton from SavingsPlus

  • CDCR grant programs expand rehabilitation

    CDCR grant programs expand rehabilitation

    The opportunities for rehabilitation in California state prisons don’t end with CDCR-staffed programs. Community-based organizations have run programs in CDCR prisons for decades, generally as volunteers or with private financial support. Years ago, the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP) recognized the potential for community-based programs to make an even bigger impact by expanding their offerings to other institutions.Thus began CDCR’s grant programs, which support organizations that provide rehabilitative programs statewide. These include programs focused on victim impact, restorative justice, and personal accountability. Visit DRP’s website to learn more about CDCR’s grant programs.In this week’s episode of the CDCR Unlocked podcast, DRP Deputy Director Kevin Hoffman and Staff Services Manager II Nicki Singh discuss the evolution of grant programs and the importance of community partners in preparing incarcerated people for success.Recorded on July 13th, 2023Produced by Frank Harrison & Angela Lee

  • Case Records professionals are key to CDCR’s success

    Case Records professionals are key to CDCR’s success

    This week, the CDCR Unlocked Podcast sits down with Jill Johnston, Chief of Case Records Services for CDCR, and Chelsi Hardcastle, a Case Records Supervisor at High Desert State Prison.Case Records Services is responsible for ensuring the appropriate application of criminal sentences, including determining applicable credits; ensuring accurate release dates, and maintaining records for each and every incarcerated person in California, current and former. It’s a huge, complicated job, but luckily Johnston and her team are dedicated to accuracy and efficiency.Hosted by Krissi KhokhobashviliRecorded on May 10, 2023Produced by Clarissa Resultan

  • Recruitment on the Road at San Quentin

    Recruitment on the Road at San Quentin

    In this week’s episode, Sergeant Corey Ringer heads to San Quentin State Prison (SQ) to meet up with three CDCR employees to hear what a day in their shoes looks like working at California’s oldest prison. From its rich history to the camaraderie among staff, SQ offers an environment where you can grow and learn new skills every day being part of a team. Staff events and activities are hosted to support one another and donate to the community at this family-oriented workplace. Visit to learn more about the many rewarding careers available with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.Recorded on June 8, 2023Hosted by Corey RingerProduced by Corey Ringer & Jeff Baur

  • EIS, HR team up for Human Resources Technology Success

    EIS, HR team up for Human Resources Technology Success

    As CDCR continues to implement and educate employees about the Human Resources Technology Success (HRTS) program, two key members of the project team stopped by CDCR Unlocked to share how the effort is going. Danyal Noel, Deputy Director, Human Resources, and Julie Baxter, Staff Services Manager III for Enterprise Information Services (EIS), share how HRTS is helping CDCR streamline its recruitment and onboarding processes using cutting-edge technology.Recorded on June 5, 2023Hosted by Krissi KhokhobashviliProduced by Rob Stewart & Krissi Khokhobashvili