The Deputy Director of the state of Washington Department of Corrections has been named the new director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Ricketts has appointed Scott Frakes of Olympia, Washington as the director to replace Michael Kenney.
Ricketts made the appointment from recommendations made after a national search for a director to take over the troubled department.
Frakes has been with the Washington Department of Corrections for 32 years, working his way up from Correctional Officer through various positions. He became Deputy Director in early 2012. At the post, he oversaw six prisons with nearly 3,000 staff members, 8,000 inmates, and a biennial budget of $450 million.
“Scott’s broad experience working at nearly every level in the correctional system will help Nebraska chart a new course for the department,” Gov. Ricketts said in a written statement released by his office. “I look forward to working with Scott and the Unicameral to reform Nebraska’s good time law and ensure our system meets our goals of public safety and fiscal responsibility.”
The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services has been under intense criticism for not seeking the civil commitment of Nikko Jenkins, who killed four in Omaha after being released from prison.
It also has been criticized for failing to follow two state Supreme Court rulings, which led to the miscalculation of hundreds of prison sentences and the premature release of hundreds of inmates.
Frakes will take office on February 2, 2015, according to the governor’s office. Additional announcements about candidates for CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services will be made at a later date.