PENDLETON — The Indiana Department of Correction appointed Dennis Reagle as warden at the Pendleton Correctional Facility on July 26.

Reagle studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University. But when he left Purdue to join the Army, he ended up falling into a correctional officer job.

“They built a prison in my backyard, so I started working at the prison,” Reagle said.

As a warden, Reagle’s job includes everyday planning and management of the prison, which houses 1,800 inmates. It also includes looking at goals and dealing with higher level problems.

“My goal is to get everyone to a central vision,” Reagle said.

Reagle began as a correctional officer at Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill in February 2000. Soon, he worked his way up to the position of correctional captain while also earning his bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in behavioral and social science from Indiana University of Kokomo.

When Reagle was promoted to deputy warden of the Re-Entry Division at the Pendleton Correctional Facility in 2018, he reshaped offender programming by developing multiple courses and curriculum providing a wide array of options for offenders to strive toward self-development and improvement.

Prior to his career in corrections, Reagle served eight years in the Army Reserves as a military police officer. During this, he was deployed in support of American operations in Alexandria, Egypt and with detainee operations in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Reagle said his experience in the military is very similar to how a warden should run a prison, and he feels it will help him better lead people and make decisions.

“The military taught me how to lead in the moment,” Reagle said.

He said his goal is to improve the community of the prison, as it has many long-term offenders and few releases. Reagle wants to ensure prisoners have a purpose as well as feel safe.

“We talk to the offender population and explain the concept that this is our town, our community, it’s where most of us will live and work for the majority of our lives,” Reagle said. “So we’re trying to make it the best place possible for the people that live here.”

Contact reporter Demi Lawrence at 765-648-4250 or demi.lawrence@heraldbulletin.com.

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