Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the retirement of North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) Director Dave Krabbenhoft, effective Dec. 31, thanking him for his innovative leadership and his nearly four decades of dedicated service to the State of North Dakota.
Krabbenhoft has served as director of DOCR since March 2021. He had served as interim director since August 2020 while also fulfilling his regular duties as DOCR director of administration, a position he had held since 2007. As DOCR director, Krabbenhoft oversees about 930 DOCR team members and a two-year budget of approximately $446 million. He has served state government since 1985, previously working for the State Auditor’s Office, Department of Public Instruction and Office of Management and Budget prior to joining DOCR.
“During his more than 20 years in corrections and nearly four decades of service to the state, Dave Krabbenhoft has devoted himself to giving North Dakotans the best possible opportunities for a bright future – including ensuring that those involved in the criminal justice system can rehabilitate themselves and become healthy, productive and safe neighbors,” Burgum said. “Dave has transformed lives and strengthened communities through his work at DOCR. We are deeply grateful for his service and wish him all the best in retirement.”
Under Krabbenhoft’s leadership both as DOCR director and as director of administration, the department implemented criminal justice reforms putting a greater emphasis on rehabilitation, as approximately 95% of DOCR residents will eventually be released. Those reforms included expanding mental health, addiction treatment and peer support services in DOCR facilities and communities; expanding access to education, vocational training and re-entry programs; implementing a pretrial services program and medication-assisted treatment into DOCR facilities; expanding the State Penitentiary and securing funding for a new women’s facility; and reforming prison culture, including working with the Restoring Promise initiative to open Unity Village, a housing unit at the State Penitentiary grounded in dignity and respect.
“As director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, I have had the privilege of working with an exceptional team of professionals who are dedicated not only to the public safety of our communities but also to the rehabilitation of those involved in our correctional system. It has been an honor to lead and collaborate with such a committed group of people,” Krabbenhoft said. “I am sincerely grateful to Gov. Burgum for the opportunity to serve as DOCR director. I will leave with a deep sense of pride in the work that has been accomplished and the positive impact made to public safety.”
The DOCR director’s position will be posted immediately.