FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CT
Ashley Cradduck, 402-471-1970
Gov. Heineman Names Bob Houston of Omaha
Director of Corrections
(Lincoln, NE) Gov. Dave Heineman announced today that Bob Houston of Omaha will be the new director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Houston will replace Harold Clarke, who will leave the post on February 28.
Gov. Heineman said, “I am very pleased Bob agreed to return to state government to lead our department of corrections. He brings a broad base of corrections experience to the post, both from within our state system and from his work directing and assisting other correctional facilities. Bob Houston has the leadership skills and vision to carry on the tradition of excellence within Nebraska corrections.
“I also want to thank Harold Clarke for his outstanding work as director of the department for nearly 15 years,” Gov. Heineman added. “He skillfully guided our state corrections system through a challenging period in history and set a standard of excellence. I wish him well as he takes on new challenges.”
Houston, 54, has been the director of the Douglas County Department of Corrections since April 2003. Prior to that, he served as assistant director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Houston served within the state corrections system for 29 years, having started as a counselor at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 1974. He was promoted to be part of the management team that opened the Lincoln Correctional Facility. Over the years he has also served as an associate superintendent, deputy warden, and warden of various facilities within Nebraska’s correctional system.
Houston said, “I appreciate the Governor’s confidence in me and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. My 29 years with the department provide me with invaluable insight into the operations of our state correctional system. I am eager to re-join the top-notch team of employees and managers to ensure safe and efficient operations. I also want to thank the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Chief Administrator Kathleen Kelly, and the outstanding corrections staff for their support during the past two years. Director Clarke is a true friend. We will dearly miss him but will hold firm to the values he has left on this department.”
Houston was named the Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Continuing Studies in 1998 for his work as an instructor in the UNO Criminal Justice Department. He received the 2002 Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Service from the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS).
He is also an accreditation auditor for the American Correctional Association. In that capacity he chaired or participated in more than 40 prison and jail audits throughout the United States. He has served as a consultant for the United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, specializing in unit management application, team-building, and best practices. He is past president of the United States Deputy Warden’s Association and the Nebraska Correctional Association.
He earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska.
His salary has been set at $103,500. He will begin his new duties in mid-March.