NDCS mourns loss and celebrates legacy of Warden Pam Morello

NDCS mourns loss and celebrates legacy of Warden Pam Morello


CONTACT Dayne Urbanovsky, Director of Strategic Communications

OFFICE 402-479-5799 | dayne.urbanovsky@nebraska.gov


CONTACT Dawn-Renee Smith, Chief of Staff

OFFICE 402-479-5721 | dawnrenee.smith@nebraska.gov

February 3, 2023 (McCook, Neb.) – The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) is mourning the loss of Work Ethic Camp (WEC) Warden Pam Morello (75), who died on February 2, 2023. She was known by most people simply as “Mo.” She started at WEC 21 years ago as a corporal and ended her career as the warden. Her retirement was effective yesterday.

As a long-time resident of McCook, she led WEC through changes, including shifting the population from individuals who are on probation to those incarcerated with NDCS. She cared about the population and team members, and she also had deep concern for the community and the safety of its citizens. She worked countless hours to ensure the NDCS mission was being met, all while fostering relationships that will have a lasting impact for many years to come. She played a pivotal role in the welding program collaboration between Valmont Industries, McCook Community College, Probation and WEC. She was committed to the work crews that went out to work at the local lakes, parks, and surrounding areas, which built relationships between the camp and the community.

“Warden Morello impacted countless lives with her straight-forward, no-nonsense approach to life,” said Interim Director Diane Sabatka-Rine. “Our team members at WEC and throughout the agency will fondly remember her and her contributions.”

Morello’s passion for the work was always evident in how she talked about and fought for what WEC needed. She did everything with the camp in mind first, and how it would impact the incarcerated individuals, staff, and the community. She had a wonderful spirit and always made people feel good about themselves and their interaction with her. Her kind heart and incredible leadership will be missed by all.