CDCR Secretary Visits Prison Newspaper

By Christopher Bryson

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Kathleen Allison visited Mule Creek State Prison on November 7, 2022, for a tour of the institution’s grounds and to experience the rehabilitative culture being cultivated at the facility located in Ione, California.

Secretary Allison, along with members of her staff, explored the vocational Prison Industry Authority building on Facility-E, where inmate manufactured food products are packaged and distributed across the state. The Secretary was able to witness firsthand the daily experience of prison labor in California, interacting with the inmate workers and asking questions about their duties.

The Secretary was also interested in visiting the newsroom of the M ule Creek Post Newspaper, founded and written entirely by the incarcerated residents of the institution in 2018. Allison stated she was impressed with the professional appearance of the paper and by its transition to a digital format available to all CDCR institutions via the department-issued tablets provided through a contract with Global Tel-Link.

Taking office during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Allison made her first priority the safety of CDCR staff and the incarcerated population over which she has custody. “We allowed public health policies to assist us as we managed the spread of COVID throughout the pandemic,” said Allison.  “We were the first to get onboard with vaccinations. When I received a call from the Governor asking how to implement vaccines, my response was to follow the same protocols for inmates as were being followed in the outside community, prioritizing according to age and underlying health conditions.”

When asked about her objectives for CDCR moving forward, Allison expressed, “We are taking a more humanistic approach, and we are embracing technology.” The latter statement was made not only in reference to the department-issued inmate tablets, but also the controversial introduction of body cameras to be worn.

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