Deputy warden

There’s a new deputy warden in town.

But Mike Kane, who has been the deputy warden at Fort Dodge Correctional Facility since the end of March, isn’t new to the prison. He’s been working at the facility since before it was even open in April 1998.

In fact, deputy warden is just the latest position Kane has held during his 15-year tenure with FDCF.

“I originally started out as a correctional officer at the Iowa Medical Classification Center in the Iowa City area,” Kane said. “Then, before the facility opened here, I ended up getting the position of correctional counselor.”

He eventually became a correctional supervisor before spending 12 years as the treatment services director, a position he held until his recent promotion to deputy warden. That position opened after former Deputy Warden Darlene Baugh retired.

Kane said he’s always enjoyed working in corrections.

“When I finished college, I was very interested in the criminal justice field or a federal job at that time,” he said. “I just happened to apply for a correctional officer position and fell in love with the job.”

As deputy warden, Kane assists Warden Jim McKinney in the prison’s day-to-day activities.

“I help oversee all operations of the facility,” he said. “This includes all the departments, whether it’s security, treatment, maintenance, dietary and support services.”

The new position has brought Kane what he described as “welcome challenges.”

“It’s a new learning experience,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the people and staff here.”

That includes the inmate population.

“It’s just amazing how well the staff and offenders get along here,” Kane said. “We have very few incidents overall, and everyone gets along pretty well.”

In his new position, Kane said he looks forward to having more of a role in moving the prison forward.

“We’re exploring new options and new ideas such as with training,” he said. “We’ve done some reentry training to staff over the past several years and we’re now looking at what the next steps of training will be.”

He also looks forward to keeping up positive relations between employees and inmates.

“My No. 1 priority is to make sure staff continue to be safe and offenders are safe,” he said. “I want this to be an enjoyable place to come to work, for us to get along, and to look at ways we can improve.”

He also wants to keep developing programming for inmates.

“We’re trying new things that are outside the box,” he said. “That’s what’s been nice about the institution in that it’s still fairly new. We have staff that are willing to try new things. Sometimes in facilities that are open for quite some time that’s not easy to do.”