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The Director’s Corner - May 2016

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Transfers and My Appreciation
May 6, 2016

Dear Staff,
I hope each of you were able to take part in being recognized this week when it is officially Correctional Officers’ Week!  I realize there are still events planned today and next week.  I hope each of our nurses and teachers were also recognized.  I appreciate all you do, as this agency cannot run effectively without dedicated staff!  

I was asked recently what I thought made a good leader.  A skill where anyone in leadership can always improve is communication.  How we speak to staff and inmates can make such a difference.  While we have to issue corrective action and discipline at times, how you communicate is just as important.  You can correct someone and make them understand that you believe they can improve.  Communication cannot be effective unless you are willing to listen to your staff.  Not every situation allows time for conversation such as when a disturbance requires giving orders and having them followed.  However, after the situation has been handled, there should be time to debrief and ask questions or offer suggestions on how it could have been handled more effectively.  These debriefings help leaders be more effective in the future, and help staff learn from the experiences.

What I want to communicate today is my sincere appreciation to you!  I also wish a Happy Mother’s Day to the parents, grandparents, and others who are raising (and continue to raise) families to be productive and caring adults!

One of the aspects of our Department that makes me so proud is our ability to adapt and move forward.  Please assist the Majors making the latest assignment change.  Major Kenneth Bolden is moving to the Delta Unit effective Monday, May 9, 2016!  He will be joining Warden Joe Page, Deputy Warden David Mills, and the dedicated Delta Unit staff.  The Unit has been through some serious storms this spring, but the staff worked quickly to keep every area operational including hosting events that same week after the first storm!

Major Roderick Johnson will move to the Varner Unit effective today, May 6, 2016.  He will work under the supervision Warden Randy Watson, Deputy Wardens Tony McHan and Christopher Budnick, and Major Maurice Williams.  

Please welcome these Majors to their new Units, and continue to focus on the Department’s mission!    

Stay safe!

Wendy Kelley

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Arkansas Department of Correction
P.O. Box 8707
Pine Bluff, AR 71611-8707
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