Today Governor Gary R. Herbert announced his appointment of Rollin E. Cook as the new executive director of the Department of Corrections. Cook is a retired chief deputy from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office and a national trainer on administrative best practices for jail administrators.
"With an extensive background in managing inmate populations and a solid understanding of local government and the county jail system, Rollin is well-prepared to take our Department of Corrections to the next level," said the Governor. "He brings both the outsider's fresh perspective and the insider's firm commitment to optimize taxpayer dollars." The Governor's selection underscores his commitment to a top-to-bottom review of Corrections, with a focus on reducing recidivism, improving rehabilitation and ensuring secure incarceration.
"As a career Corrections professional, I am fully aware of the complex challenges we face and humbly look forward to the opportunity to work with all members of our criminal justice and human services team," said Cook. "I want to thank the Governor for this opportunity to accomplish great things in all areas of Corrections."
Cook began his career in law enforcement in 1989 with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office. He retired in 2012, having advanced from officer to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and eventually chief deputy. Following retirement, he became a consultant and trainer for the National Institute of Corrections. In this role, he taught the sheriffs and their personnel procedures for opening and operating new correctional facilities.
Cook received a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix in 2007 and Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration at Columbia College in 2000. He obtained Peace Officer I and II certifications from Salt Lake Community College in 1989.
With more than 2,200 employees, the Utah Department of Corrections oversees the Utah State Prison and Adult Probation & Parole functions. This includes the Division of Programming, which administers treatment programs and education to offenders; Clinical Services, which provides medical, mental health, dental, and other treatment to the offender population; and Utah Correctional Industries, which produces goods and provides services primarily to state agencies, other governmental, and non-profit entities. Additional Corrections functions include a Training Academy for cadets, an Investigations Bureau, and the Sex Offender Registry. Corrections operates two state prison facilities - one in Gunnison (Central Utah Correctional Facility - 1,500 offenders) and one in Draper (3,800 offenders). The state also contracts with 20 county jails throughout the state (1,500 offenders).