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Life Behind Bars Warden Bob Dooley Has Seen Historic Changes Bob Dooley has spent his adult life in prisons, but he says it’s rewarding. That’s because the Mike Durfee State Prison warden helps inmates change their lives. “I treat them like human beings,” he said. “I treat them fairly, and they recognize and respect that.” He also considers his staff as professionals who maintain high standards while working under trying conditions. “We require honest, hard-working individuals with high integrity. We’ve raised our standards over the years and work with staff on a lot of training,” he said. “This is a very stressful business, and there’s a lot of burnout. But we have employees who have been here a number of years and are dedicated to what they do.” Next June, Dooley marks 35 years with the South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC). He has spent nearly all of it at Springfield, where he helped convert a former college campus into a medium-security prison. “I was also named the state’s director of prison operations in 2013,” he said. “I supervise all of the other wardens. In that way, we ensure continuity within the Department of Corrections.” During his tenure, Dooley has seen and worked with historic changes in the South Dakota prison system. The changes involve facilities, inmate numbers and programs. At the beginning, Mike Durfee State Prison served as a co-ed facility. A women’s prison was later opened at Pierre, and Springfield became the current all-male prison. Dooley oversees nearly 2,000 inmates. He serves as warden for about 1,260 prisoners at Springfield. In addition, around 320 and 300 inmates at the respective Yankton and Rapid City community work centers (formerly trusty units) fall under his direction. Springfield operates as a medium-security prison, while Yankton and Rapid City are run as minimum-security facilities. Dooley doesn’t see his work at Springfield as merely a desk job. Each day, he gets out of the office to learn what’s on the minds of those behind the fence. “It’s important that the warden always be visible. You have to listen to the staff Next June, Warden Bob Dooley with Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield will mark 35 years with the South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC). Besides his Springfield position, he oversees the Yankton minimum security unit and serves as the South Dakota Director of Prison Operations. Reliable Warmth... All Winter Long Clean and check your furnace to get it in tip-top shape. Let Kaiser Heating & Cooling take care of your heating needs before old man winter comes for a visit! 808 W. 23rd, Yankton Chris Frick • Doug Dykstra 16vHISVOICEvNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 605.665.2895 www.kaiserheatingandcooling.com

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