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Friday, March 15, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Public Information Officer

Lt. George Paul takes a group of Wardens and Chief Deputy Wardens from China for a tour of DVI so they could see how a California prison operates.
Inside CDCRBeing a Public Information Officer (PIO) at a California state prison is unlike any other job within a correctional facility. In a crisis, the PIO is the face and voice of the institution, with cameras rolling and the tape recorders on, everything you say can and probably will be quoted.

During non-crisis moments the PIO is busy responding to Public Records Act requests, filming projects at the institution, writing articles about the prison’s goings-on for the InsideCDCR newsletter, responding to the dozens of media requests that CDCR receives on any given day, and at some institutions, performing other assignments as the Warden’s assistant.

At Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI), PIO Lt. George Paul has handled a wide range of both crisis and non-crisis communication.

In 2012, Lt. Paul helped organize one of CDCR’s biggest events of the year, the announcement of the deactivation of the final non-traditional beds in California prisons.

The event was a huge success and an important milestone in CDCR history, but it wasn’t without long hours and lots of preparation. To prepare, Lt. Paul researched the history of overcrowding at DVI, ran gate clearances for the dozens of reporters who wanted to cover the story, and made sure the gymnasium, which previously housed approximately 600 inmates, was ready for the cameras and the CDCR Secretary.

The PIO also plays a vital role in the event of an inmate escape or walk away. Last summer, an inmate at DVI walked away from the institution’s Minimum Support Facility. After being notified by the Watch Commander, Lt. Paul rushed to the institution at 3 a.m. to write a press release notifying local media. continue reading...


Anonymous said...

Chinese warden: "Oh so they pamper and spoil their criminals, maybe we try"!

Anonymous said...

Smart Chinese deputy warden: "No pampered and spoiled criminals released early cause much mayhem. California's prisons ran by idiots not good model to follow. Maybe their wardens come to china learn much about not being so very soft. Visit was so amusing lots of laughs. We not pamper or spoil anyone in our lockups. They even put t.v. show on starring their imates, very strange methods in America. I learned they not know what they are doing"