5 questions for Kevin Kempf

2014 portrait of Kevin Kempf
Kevin Kempf, IDOC director

On December 3, the Idaho Board of Correction named Kevin Kempf director of the Idaho Department of Correction.  IDOC’s employee website, EDOC, asked Kevin five questions about his new job and his thoughts on the department’s future.

EDOC:  What do you prefer being called?  Director?  Kevin?

Kevin: No matter what position or rank staff hold, I prefer to be called “Kevin”.

EDOC: How are things going so far?

Kevin: Amazing.  I am so appreciative of the phone calls, emails, and letters I have received wishing me well.  Last week I presented my 90-day transition plan to our Central Office leadership team, our statewide leaders (wardens, district managers, and CRC managers) and all Central Office staff.  I’ve also met with our Board of Correction members, members of the Governor’s office, and some key members of the Legislature.  It’s been great to express our needs and identify the challenges and opportunities we are facing.

EDOC: Are there any changes coming?

Kevin: Probably.  With any change like this you can expect some level of tweaks and changes.  To what degree, I’m not 100% sure.  I’ll have a better idea once I get out and talk to staff and our stakeholders.  I also want to spend time strategically planning with our Board of Correction to ensure we are going in a direction they support.

EDOC:  What do you see as some of the challenges and opportunities we face?

Kevin: We face two significant challenges right now. They also represent some unique opportunities.  They are staff turnover and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.  Both demand our attention and 100% effort.  You can expect these two issues to have my 100% focus.

EDOC: What can we expect from you as director?

Kevin: One of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs is, “The most important decisions I made didn’t involve what products we should build, they involved what products we shouldn’t build.”   Neither I nor the agency is going to waste time on things we shouldn’t be doing.  Our resources are limited and our time should only be spent with things that have a direct line to our mission.  

Story published: 12/19/2014
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