The certainty of change came to San Quentin on Feb 2 when the new Chief Deputy Warden (CDW), Vince Cullen, arrived, and he’s indicated that he will be “…heavily involved in the effective delivery of institution programs.”
The duties of a Chief Deputy Warden, are the day to day internal functions of the institution.
Cullen began with the CDCR in 1990 working in Sacramento for its Institutions Division. In 1992, he transferred to California Medical Facility, where he began as a Budget Analyst. In the next 15 years, Cullen went from Plant Operations Supervisor to Manager, the Correctional Business Manager, an Associate Warden of Business Services, Central Services, Special Programs and Mental Health.
In March 2007, he returned to Sacramento to be Chief of Office of Project Management, and then to CSP Solano to be the Project Leader for the roll-out of AB 900. “CSP Solano is the pilot prison for developing rehabilitation programs,” Cullen said.
THE NEW TITLE
When Cullen was asked what adding the title of “Rehabilitation” meant to him he stated: “True rehabilitation programs are a mix of education, work, and other related programs that prepare an inmate to successfully integrate into society.”
Asked what changes he would like to see, Cullen said, “The short-term inmates won’t see changes. People need to understand patience in the rollout of rehabilitation.”
He indicated that Solano will be the pilot, testing out what then will come here.
Cullen continued, stating, “San Quentin won’t see any immediate change in the near future, perhaps late 2009 or 2010.”
SQ News pointed out how some policy changes tend to have a negative impact on prisoners’ programs, Cullen responded: “Any time you have a pattern of security breaches, the inmate population should expect that temporary restrictions of some facet of our operation is necessary whatever the issues that arise.”
Asked to name his top objective, Cullen said, “To make incremental changes so from one week to the next we’re constantly improving in the over-all institutional operations and the delivery of effective inmate programs. Warden Wong and myself believe in taking small steps toward change rather than radical modifications.”
CAROLE HOOD’S ROLE
Cullen indicated that Carole Hood, Chief Deputy Secretary and her staff in Adult Programs would be very involved.
SQ News asked Cullen how this all might impact and involve Lifer prisoners. “There’s a lot of external interest in how AB 900 will postive impact them terms of their participation,” he said “Lifer populations will be a part of our focus, and they may find some interesting results of such.”