June 29, 2006
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Tallahassee - Department of Corrections' Deputy Secretary Laura E. Bedard, Ph.D. will assume warden duties at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, FL, on or about July 10, 2006. Bedard volunteered to become warden over the DOC's largest and oldest woman's facility.
"Dr. Bedard has extensive experience with female inmates and will bring great innovation to this area," said Secretary James McDonough. "I am sending one of my best people into the field in order to address immediate needs there. I expect her leadership will become a national example."
Bedard will be addressing housing and security issues as well as preparing women for their release back into society. In addition to her experience as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Corrections, she has almost six years' experience working as an administrator in a county jail, as well as another five years with a state hospital, counseling and providing transition services for chronically mentally ill patients.
"I appreciate the Secretary's confidence in me. I am committed to meeting the Department's mission and look forward to working with the staff at Lowell CI. I see this as a way to make a positive difference in the lives of female inmates not only at Lowell, but in our entire system," said Dr. Bedard.
When Bedard finishes her mission at Lowell, she will return to Tallahassee and continue her role as Deputy Secretary.
Although Bedard remains the Deputy Secretary, for the period of time she is at Lowell she will function as any of the Department's wardens, reporting through a chain of command that goes from the Regional Director through the Assistant Secretary for Institutions, to the Secretary of the Department.
In her absence, Bedard's responsibilities in Central Office will be assumed by the acting Deputy Secretary, Tina Hayes, currently DOC Director for Research and Support Services.
Carol Starling, currently serving as warden at Lowell, will become warden at Hendry Correctional Institution.
"The warden position at Hendry CI has been vacant and the Department needs strength in that position," added Secretary McDonough. "Warden Starling will be able to meet these needs.
"As for Dr. Bedard, I have tremendous respect for leaders willing to move into the field and take charge."