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Mark Gordon selects new corrections director
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Mark Gordon selects new corrections director

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Wyoming State Penitentiary

The Wyoming State Penitentiary is shown in 2016 in Rawlins. Gov. Mark Gordon has chosen Dan Shannon to serve as the state's corrections director. 

Gov. Mark Gordon has selected a director for the Wyoming Department of Corrections.

Gordon announced Friday that he had tapped Dan Shannon, who has been serving as the department’s interim director since July, to serve permanently in that role.

Shannon’s appointment will become official Monday. He takes over for Bob Lampert, who retired this summer after holding the director’s post since 2003. At the time of his departure, Lampert was the longest-serving head of a state corrections agency, The Associated Press reported.

Shannon has been with Wyoming’s corrections department since 2007, according to an announcement from the governor’s office. He had been serving as deputy director prior to his promotion.

As director, he will oversee five correctional facilities including the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins and the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington. He will also be in charge of the state’s adult offender supervision program that’s run through the probation and parole division.

Shannon takes the helm of the department at a challenging time for corrections officials, as they work to keep COVID-19 from spreading within high-density prison populations. The Wyoming State Penitentiary experienced an outbreak earlier in the coronavirus pandemic with more than 100 cases among inmates and about 25 among staff members. However, an update released at the beginning of October showed only one active case in that facility.

He’ll also have to manage budget cuts to state government prompted the pandemic and the energy downturn. The first round of cuts, announced in August, included a $22 million reduction for the corrections department.

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