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Indiana’s Donahue returning to old Ky. home
By Jim Montalto, News Editor
Published: 06/25/2008

Donahue Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue announced his plan to step down August 1 and return to his home state of Kentucky. He will then become the Kentucky State Reformatory’s warden and serve as an adviser to the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council.

Upon accepting Donahue’s resignation, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels said the Commissioner cited family reasons for departing.

“I accept and respect his choice,” Daniels said in a statement. “But I do so reluctantly, because I am convinced that Dave Donahue is the finest corrections commissioner in the country, and he'll be impossible to replace.”

"It's the toughest professional decision I've made but the easiest personal one," Donahue said.

Since becoming Indiana's commissioner in January 2005, Donahue, 48, has been credited with transforming the INDOC into a model agency that focused on promoting public safety and helping offenders successfully reenter their communities. He supported the change in state law that now requires sex offenders to receive treatment before utilizing good time credit opportunities, and introduced a methamphetamine addiction treatment program at several state prisons.

Under his supervision, the Statewide Automated Victim Notification System was implemented and the Plainfield Re-entry Education Facility, which focuses solely on preparing short-term offenders for re-entry, was opened. The 26-year corrections veteran also was involved in studying and measuring how correction programs affect recidivism rates.

"When I accepted this assignment, the governor challenged me to 'measure up and follow up' because ‘If you aren't keeping score, you're only practicing',” he says. “I think my most important impact on the department has been to instill that concept into our culture, and that has made the Indiana Department of Correction a finer institution."

Donahue is scheduled to begin his new job August 4.


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