CCC celebrates 50th anniversary
California Correctional Center and High Desert State Prison Honor Guard do the presentation of colors.
Undersecretary Martin Hoshino praises California Correctional Center for their progressive programs. Photos by Jordan Clary
May 21, 2013 — California Correctional Center has played a pivotal role in the community, and Wednesday, May 15 it celebrated its 50th anniversary in Lassen County.
The primary mission of the Center has been to receive, house and train minimum-custody inmates for placement into one of 18 Northern California conservations camps.
The secondary mission has been to provide meaningful work, training and education programs for inmates
Matt Mullin, chief deputy warden, opened the program and acted as master of ceremonies. California Correctional Center and High Desert State Prison Honor Guard performed the presentation of colors.
Warden Robert Gower gave the concluding remarks and said, “The walls were built in 1963. Now we have children here from their parents who worked at this place. Grandchildren working here, and it’s been great for the community. It’s been great for our families to have a good job to go to. The walls are up. The mission has stayed the same. The way that it’s been challenged has changed and we continue to evolve with that.”
He also thanked Center staff for their “dedication and years of service.”
Michale D. Stainer, deputy director of the Division of Adult Institutions, was the opening speaker and Lassen County Supervisor Jim Chapman gave a brief history of the institution, why this location was chosen and its special relationship with the community.
Chapman said regarding the Center’s early days, “It was a different time and the politics were a lot different. Everybody worked together. You didn’t see the divisions you do today. Back then the political leadership looked to work for the common good.”
While the institution was not without controversy, even in the early days, Chapman said he recalled a feeling of rebirth and new growth as though a new era of prosperity were beginning.
He concluded his speech saying, “As a kid growing up, I was proud to be from Susanville, and I was proud of the fact that we had the California Correctional Center.”
Undersecretary Martin Hoshino also addressed the gathering and spoke of some of the changes in the Department of Corrections over the years.
“There is a phenomena occurring not just in California but across the nation called evidence based programming and evidence based practices which is about using more science in the approach to public safety and criminal justice solutions and outcomes along the way,” he said. “It’ s really almost an industry unto itself. The word recidivism becomes common vernacular over and over again down to the detailed sciences about how you actually measure it.”
He praised California Correctional Center for its progressive programs such as firefighting and Pups on Parole and stated the recidivism rate of programs like the Center is 25 percent better than other programs throughout the system.
While improving recidivism has been a major mission of California Department of Corrections for the past 50 years, he said, California Department of Corrections actually embodied that mission with real results.
“With all of this high-powered stuff going on throughout the nation and all of the politics related to that,” he said, “who would have thought you would actually find one of the most progressive, result-oriented operations in criminal justice in little old Susanville. An amazing thing actually happens here, which is you are taking men who were originally here because they were threats to public safety and actually transforming them into the protectors of public safety in the forms of the things that they do, and I don’t think that point could ever be overstated. It’s really, truly a remarkable thing.”
Warden Mike Babcock from the Federal Correctional Institute in Herlong thanked California Correctional Center and High Desert State Prison for their support and for welcoming the federal prison into the community.
“I think we have developed a great relationship. It makes us effective in what we do,” he said.
Miss Lassen County Charlene Peterson led the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the program, and Liudmila Mullin sang the National Anthem.
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