Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday tapped a veteran Department of Corrections administrator to become the new leader of the agency.
Dan Pacholke will take over as Secretary of Corrections on Saturday, succeeding Bernie Warner who is leaving to join a private prison operator. Pacholke is currently the department’s deputy secretary.
“Washington state is at the forefront of many innovative and successful rehabilitation and reentry efforts. Dan is not only an outstanding administrator and manager, he’s committed to further strengthening the great work happening all throughout DOC,” Inslee said in a statement issued by his office.
Pacholke joined the state agency in 1982 as a correctional officer at McNeil Island Corrections Center. In advancing through the ranks, he’s served as the superintendent at three Washington state prisons and in 2010 was put in charge of the prisons division as an assistant secretary.
Since 2014, he’s been deputy secretary and overseen the leadership of prisons, community corrections, healthcare, offender change, reentry services, and correctional industries divisions, according to the governor’s office.
Pacholke will take charge of a department that had 18,414 offenders confined in 12 prison facilities and 16 work release facilities as of Sept. 30. He will earn $165,000 a year.
He follows in the footsteps of another department stalwart.
Warner spent 35 years with the corrections agency. He was appointed secretary in 2011 by then Gov. Chris Gregoire and reappointed by Inslee in 2013.
His new job will be as vice president of corrections at Management Training Corporation, based in Salt Lake City. The private company operates 25 prisons in eight states that house 30,000 people. It also runs probation services for 40,000 in the United Kingdom as well as transitional programs in the United States.