Director Franks Announces Senior Staff Appointments

Posted By: KLKN Newsroom
Press release from Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

Director Frakes Announces Senior Staff Appointments

Today, Director Scott Frakes announced the appointment of senior staff for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS): Michael D. Rothwell and Diane Sabatka-Rine, Deputy Directors; Dr. Martin Wetzel as the Chief of Psychiatry for NDCS; Dr. Lisa Jones head of Behavioral Health; and Richard Cruickshank, Warden of the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

Rothwell and Sabatka-Rine Named Deputy Director for Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

Mr. Rothwell currently is currently working as an advisor in Afghanistan, he has over 30 years of progressive experience working with Alcohol and Chemical dependency and the re-entry of offenders back into society. His previous positions include Warden at the Sheridan Correctional Center in Illinois and Deputy Administrator – Division of Programs, with the Idaho Department of Corrections.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from University of Tennessee – Knoxville and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice/Systems Application from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.

Mrs. Sabatka-Rine has been an employee of NDCS for 31 years, the last 12 years providing leadership as warden at three different institutions. Diane began her career with the NDCS in May of 1984 as a correctional officer at the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center. Since that time Sabatka-Rine has worked in a variety of positions that include: corporal, unit supervisor I, unit supervisor II, records manager, accreditation manager, unit administrator, assistant warden, initially being appointed as warden at the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center in 2003.

Diane holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Wayne State College.

Director Frakes states he is continuing the process of reorganizing the department, finding the leadership talent needed to address the challenges NDCS faces. “I was hoping to find a combination of proven NDCS experience and perspectives from outside of Nebraska Corrections. Diane and Mike bring this combination of experiences, and work histories that complement each other well.”

Wetzel Named Chief of Psychiatry, Jones Named Behavioral Health Administrator for Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

Dr. Martin Wetzel has accepted the position of Chief of Psychiatry for NDCS, and Dr. Lisa Jones will be the new head of Behavioral Health. Dr. Wetzel and Dr. Jones will be collaborating with staff in the months ahead to build on the work accomplished in the last 10 years, bringing greater clarity to the NDCS behavioral health system. The role of prisons within America’s behavioral health system continues to grow. Ensuring the best use of our resources to provide effective behavioral health care is central to our public safety mission.

Martin Wetzel, MD joined NDCS in 2011 as the Psychiatrist for the Mental Health unit at Lincoln Correctional Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Assistant Professor at Creighton College of Medicine and UNMC core faculty in Forensic Psychiatry for the Psychiatry Residency Program. Dr. Wetzel received his Medical degree in 1988 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and post degree training at Washington University. He has extensive research experience and holds several consulting positions. Dr. Wetzel is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology from 1994 to present.

Lisa Jones, PhD joined NDCS in 2010. She has been Supervising Psychologist for Substance Abuse Treatment Services within NDCS for the past five years. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University. Dr. Jones also teaches two Masters of Counseling Program classes at Doane College, is a member of American and Nebraska Psychological Associations and served two years on Board of Directors for Bridge of Hope – Child Advocacy Center.

Prior to working within Corrections, Dr. Jones had a private practice where she specialized in conducting psychological evaluations; including forensic evaluations for the courts. While at NDCS, Dr. Jones has supervised Licensed Mental Health Practitioners who provide mental health services within the Substance Abuse Units (SAU) and has worked within all NDCS facilities. Her position has facilitated treatment for the growing population of inmates with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

Dr. Wetzel and Dr. Jones will start their new positions on September 24th, 2015.

Cruickshank named as Warden of the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

Rich began his NDCS career in October of 1983 as a Correctional Officer at the Nebraska State Penitentiary promoting through the ranks to Lieutenant and Commander of the NSP Riot Control Team. From there he was an Instructor at the Staff Training Academy, before being promoted to Captain. Rich held the positions of Major, Associate Warden, Deputy Warden and most recently Warden at the Community Corrections Center – Lincoln.

Rich is currently a Brigade Command Sergeant Major in the Nebraska Army National Guard. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, from Doane College. Rich serves as a consultant for LETRA in emergency preparedness programming and crisis intervention/crisis resolution and with the National Institute of Corrections in Security Operations.

Rich will begin his responsibilities on September 28, 2015. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from various positions and facilities which will benefit the staff and operations of NSP.