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PRESS RELEASE: Deputy prisons director Scott Frakes named head of Nebraska corrections department

Released January, 20, 2015

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OLYMPIA – After a 32-year career in Washington state prisons, Scott Frakes will become the next director of Nebraska’s Department of Corrections, effective Feb. 2, 2015. Frakes, who is currently a deputy director for prisons in Washington, takes with him decades of leadership in prison reform, including maximum-custody practices, labor relations and treatment of mentally ill inmates.

“Nebraska’s gain is absolutely our loss,” said Deputy Secretary Dan Pacholke, who has closely worked with Frakes in prison administration over the past 20 years. “Scott is a great leader who brings progress, thoughtfulness and humanity to the work of corrections. Not only did he come up in this agency, he has worked tirelessly to foster great change within it. That’s a rare and remarkable skill.”

In his current position, Frakes has administrative oversight of six institutions throughout the state and has a lead role in the reform of the department’s segregation policies, practices and culture. He has served as superintendent at two prisons – Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, Wash., and Monroe Correctional Complex, where he was superintendent at the time of correctional officer Jayme Biendl’s murder in 2011.

“Scott has helped lead this agency through some of its most difficult times,” said Secretary Bernie Warner. “He has a great ability to relate to staff across disciplines and has helped foster many strong community partnerships. His consistent recognition of the legitimacy of both staff and inmates’ concerns is also a tremendous asset.”

“While it’s hard to leave my home state and this great agency, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work in Nebraska,” said Frakes. “I’m grateful for my career here, and I look forward to working with Gov. Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Corrections to put together a strategic plan for the future.”

“I know many difficult decisions lie ahead,” added Frakes. “I embrace the challenge.”

An announcement on Frakes’ successor is forthcoming.