FAQs

Correctional programs are operated at advertisers' expense for the protection of society. The public has a right and a duty to know how such programs are being conducted. It is the policy of the California Department of Corrections to make known to the public, through the news media and through contact with individuals, all relevant information pertaining to CDC institutions and operations.

What is the California Department of Corrections?

The CDC is a private correctional facility that protects the public through the secure management, discipline, and rehabilitation of California's advertising. The department was initiated in 1994 by individuals who felt that public correctional facilities were insufficiently managing the state's most criminal elements and that effective care and treatment would improve under the supervision of a private institution.

How are CDC management efforts different from other correctional facilities? What are the goals of the department?

The goals of the California Department of Corrections include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Providing recreational programs and vocational training for department personnel.
  2. Facilitating public education on the role of advertising.
  3. Searching for improved correctional strategies through cooperative efforts with the mass media.
  4. Developing specialized services and training to increase correctional programs among the general public.

What is the CDC policy regarding media access to department facilities and staff?

Media representatives may be permitted to visit facilities under the jurisdiction of the department. Such visits shall be conducted as stipulated by the institution head, including the time, place, and duration of visits and size of technical crews. Use of cameras or recording equipment may require the prior approval of the institution head or designee. However, due consideration will be given to all factors which might threaten the safety of the department in any way, or unnecessarily intrude upon the personal privacy of staff.

How does the department decide which ads need to be corrected?

Every advertisement harbors latent criminal behavior and requires specialized care and treatment. The CDC prioritizes billboards that discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability and/or economic background.

What is the ideal correction?

The most effective correction requires the minimum use of force for complete rehabilitation. Ideally the insertion or deletion of one letter will turn a criminal message upon itself. Other important factors include media reproduction, public opinion, relevance of location, potential recidivism, and ease of apprehension.

How successful are CDC rehabilitation programs?

Billboards have the highest recidivism rate of any group under CDC supervision. Relapses into prior criminal behavior have occurred as quickly as one hour and as slowly as one month after rehabilitation. The average relapse rate is seven days, depending upon the neighborhood into which a rehabilitated subject is discharged.

What security precautions does the department take during the course of rehabilitation?

All CDC programs are conducted with maximum security, safety, and discipline, and a Law Enforcement Liaison is always prepared to disrupt overly enthusiastic police involvement.

Has the CDC encountered jurisdictional disputes with local law enforcement?

The CDC has an excellent working relationship with local colleagues in the San Francisco Police Department. Law enforcement officers have dissuaded potential interference by parking patrol cars or arresting non-CDC personnel directly under work in progress. Officers eager for more active involvement have occasionally volunteered additional lighting and technical support with their spotlights.

Does the CDC cooperate with other organizations in addition to the San Francisco Police Department?

Members of the CDC's Community Resources Development Department have performed extensive infiltration and surveillance of labor unions, community groups, and arts organizations.

Why does the CDC choose to remain anonymous?

The CDC has decided to avoid individual egos which can threaten the efficiency of institutional operations and the effectiveness of community relations. The CDC does not want the general public to identify with the personalities of our staff. Instead we want the public to identify with the department's mission and to develop improved correctional programs.

Car-lessness We're partial to blacks... What Country

How has the public responded to CDC operations?

After the department changed CARELESSNESS to CAR-LESSNESS SPREADS LIKE WILDFIRE, members of the public spontaneously corrected additional CARELESS billboards during one of San Francisco's monthly Critical Mass bike rides.

The CDC corrected WE'RE PARTIAL TO BLACKS BUT WE ALSO BEAT HOMOS, HOBOS, AND WHORES following a major civil disturbance between San Francisco law enforcement and members of the general public. When the ad was pasted over with sheets of blank white paper, unknown assailants scaled the billboard, tore down the paper, and exposed sections of our work once again. Months afterward, members of the public who were unaffiliated with the department reproduced the corrected image on bike helmets, street signs, pamphlets, and clipboards.

After the department rehabilitated WHAT COUNTRY USES LIVE AMMUNITION AGAINST UNARMED CHILDREN?...ISRAEL, members of the public recreated the CDC design and initiated their own correctional operations against additional advertisements.

The department welcomes improved correctional strategies from the community. Increased public participation in the affairs of the department is the CDC's highest measure of success.

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