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Utah Department of Corrections names first female warden

Salt Lake City—Kristen Keisel has been named the new warden at the Central Utah Correctional Facility (CUCF) in Gunnison. She replaces Bart Mortensen, who has now been named the warden of the Utah State Correctional Facility (USCF) in Salt Lake City. This promotion makes her the first female warden of a full prison operation for the Utah Department of Corrections

Keisel’s career with UDC began in 2006. She started as a correctional officer at CUCF, and later served as a correctional case manager in maximum security, worked in the HOPE program as a lieutenant, and collaborated with county jails on correctional standards before being named deputy warden at CUCF in 2021. She has an associate degree in criminal justice and has completed the Certified Public Manager program.

“Being part of UDC has given me the opportunity and ability to serve in different capacities,” stated Keisel, “but my goal has been the same along the way – to positively impact the life of every person I encounter.”

UDC Executive Director Brian Redd stated, “Being the warden is a challenging job and we’re excited to see Keisel in this role. She will be balancing management of the inmate population, staffing, and the facility itself.”

CUCF opened in Gunnison, Utah, in 1989. It houses up to 1,800 male inmates and has approximately 500 employees. It is split into three housing facilities and offers inmates high school education, vocational training, and life skills courses. Inmates with substance use issues may participate in the HOPE (Help Offenders Parole Effectively) program. They also offer work programs at Utah Correctional Industries.

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