The presentation by nationally renowned Corrections Director Harold Clarke introduces new concepts to transform a correctional agency in a way that creates a healing environment for staff and offenders with the ultimate goal of lowering recidivism and increasing long term public safety. Effectively reducing recidivism and implementing evidence-based practices requires a new paradigm for correctional professionals that must begin with examining the agency’s culture and its ability to support change. The presentation shares a new vision, inspires others to change attitudes, challenges participants to question traditional paradigms and presents methods that can be replicated by others.
Harold W. Clarke grew up in the Canal Zone in Panama. After graduating from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, in 1974, Mr. Clarke joined the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services as a counselor. He rose through the department, becoming a unit manager, deputy warden, and then warden at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 1987. In August 1990, he was appointed Director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, a position he held until 2005. Since then, he has served as the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, and currently as the Director of Corrections in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Among other initiatives under Director Clarke’s leadership, the VADOC has had a focus on improving re-entry of offenders in the commonwealth. Mr. Clarke is also a past President of both the American Correctional Association and the Association of State Correctional Administrators.
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