Director Frakes appoints deputy director for programs division

Director Frakes appoints deputy director for programs division

September 21, 2018 (LINCOLN, Neb.) – Today, Director Scott R. Frakes announced the appointment of Dawn-Renee Smith as the deputy director for programs at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS).

Smith’s role will include oversight of the community corrections facilities, classification and transportation, volunteers, non-clinical programming, reentry services, and quality assurance.

“Our emphasis on programming cannot be overstated,” added Director Frakes. “We have built several goals around boosting programming into the agency’s new strategic plan. We know that giving people the tools that they need to live outside of prison will help keep them from coming back into the system. It provides them an opportunity for success.”

“Dawn-Renee has prior experience in developing programming from the ground up which is essential to getting people back into the community after release and reducing recidivism,” said Director Frakes.

Smith has been with NDCS since 2005. She fills the deputy position recently held by Mike Rothwell, who retired from the agency in August.

“Dawn-Renee knows the agency inside and out. She started as a caseworker at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI), and went on to manage our legislative and communications divisions, and serve as the administrator for reentry services. I am confident that Dawn-Renee will bring the same enthusiasm and leadership to the programs division.”

Prior to joining NDCS, Smith’s background was in human services, with emphasis in behavioral health, grant writing and fundraising. As chief of staff, Smith provided oversight of research, communications and policy development and accreditation. In addition, she served as the legislative liaison and key policy advisor to Director Frakes.

“The work of the programs division is central to our ability to keep people safe,” Smith said. “I am looking forward to working with the programs division team as we continue to provide incarcerated men and women with opportunities for meaningful change.” 

Smith’s appointment is effective starting October 1.