PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Secretary Bernie Warner to leave state service
Released September 22, 2015
OLYMPIA – State Department of Corrections Secretary Bernie Warner announced Tuesday that he is leaving state service on October 16 to start a new job in the private sector.
Warner, who started his career with the Department 35 years ago, returned to Washington 5 years ago. He was appointed Secretary by former Governor Gregoire in 2011 and then reappointed by Governor Inslee in 2013.
“I move on knowing we have dedicated staff, from senior leadership to the front line who will continue the important work of keeping our facilities and communities safe,” Warner told DOC employees in an email.
Warner assumed DOC leadership during unprecedented fiscal challenges in Washington and has led significant policy reforms to the state corrections system. He highlighted several staff accomplishments during his tenure as secretary including the creation of statewide safety committees, implementation of mission housing to address distinct prison populations, reengineering community corrections to balance accountability with services, building of data to improve agency decision making and higher quality services to include physical and mental health.
Warner also praised work done by DOC staff in segregation reform, swift and certain sanctioning and gender responsive programs. In May, Warner was part of the State Department US delegation in Vienna, where the revised “Mandela Rules” governing international conditions of confinement were approved.
“I want to thank Bernie for his leadership on one of the toughest issues facing state government,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “In many ways he has made Washington a model for how to run a corrections department and always put the safety of staff and the public first in his mind.”
He has accepted a job as vice president of corrections at Management Training Corporation (MTC), based in Salt Lake City. MTC is a private, family owned company that primarily operates correctional programs and Job Corp Centers within the United States and internationally. It operates 25 facilities in eight states that house 30,000 offenders as well as probation services for 40,000 offenders in the United Kingdom.