Veteran state prison official named director | NevadaAppeal.com

Veteran state prison official named director

Nevada’s former Deputy Director of Corrections Glen Whorton was called out of retirement by Gov. Kenny Guinn on Thursday to take over the department.

Whorton will replace Jackie Crawford, the first woman prisons director in Nevada history. Crawford came under a cloud last month amid allegations she abused her power to grant inmates unearned good-time credits and release them earlier than they should have been.

“Glen has been one of the cornerstones of the Department of Corrections since the 1970s,” Guinn said. “Glen has my total confidence. I am glad he has agreed to come out of retirement and continue his tremendous service to the people of this state.”

Whorton, 57, will earn $115,770 as director.

He started with the Department of Prisons in 1977 as a correctional case specialist after returning from Vietnam where he served as a helicopter pilot. He rose to chief of classification and planning in 1996 and served six years in that post before being promoted to deputy director in 2002.

He retired in January.

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Whorton said he has “a tremendous amount of loyalty to Governor Guinn and the Department of Corrections” and was proud to come out of retirement when asked to step in for Crawford.

Ed Flagg, head of the Correctional Officers Association, said Whorton was a good choice because the staff knows and trusts him and he knows the department well.

“It’s a good change for the department because there has to be a balance between programs, security and medical,” he said. “The way we see it security has to come first but for the last few years, security was faltering a bit.”

He said he wishes Crawford well and hopes her health improves. Crawford cited back problems as her reason for leaving the post.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.