Neither Steven Franke nor Jeri Taylor ever thought they would obtain administrative level positions within the correctional operations setting.
Franke was recently named the permanent east side institutions administrator for the Department of Corrections Operations Division, and Taylor was named the superintendent at Two Rivers Correctional Institution.
Both served in their current positions on an interim basis since earlier this year.
Franke said under his position, he is responsible for the operational oversight of all the east side institutions within the department. His office for the position is based out of the TRCI facility.
Franke began his career as a corrections officer at the Oregon State Penitentiary in 1985. He was then promoted through the security series to sergeant, lieutenant, security manager and as the first assistant superintendent of security at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton.
In 2002, he transferred to the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario as the assistant superintendent of security before moving to the role of assistant superintendent of general services.
In June 2010, he was promoted to superintendent of TRCI before being asked to serve in his current position.
I believe the value of working at the three largest facilities on the east side gave me valuable insight from an administrative perspective, Franke said. I know and have worked with many of the staff at EOCI, SRCI and TRCI. Im very familiar with their respective cultures and architectural differences , which helps when making decisions that will affect operations.
Taylor started off her correctional career as a receptionist at EOCI in 1984. In 1986, she became a corrections officer and worked her way up through the ranks to the position of captain.
In 2010, she transferred to TRCI as the assistant superintendent of security before stepping into her current position.
As superintendent, Taylor oversees the 1,800-bed facility in Umatilla.
I see my primary duty as ensuring public safety by operating a safe, secure institution in a fiscally responsible manner, she said.
Taylor said she never dreamed she would ever earn the role of superintendent.
I told the very first superintendent of EOCI that, by gosh, someday I was going to be the training lieutenant, she said.
That was the extent of my dreams. Although I never achieved that particular goal, my career with the department has been diverse and rewarding.
Taylor said her role may seem a bit intimidating when contemplating for what, exactly, she is responsible.
She said, however, she has a fantastic team at TRCI, and she is confident they are committed to the mission of the department to keep their communities safe and hold inmates accountable for their actions.
Taylor said one of the main missions she and Franke were tasked with when they first came to TRCI in 2010 was to provide more opportunities and incentives to the inmate population in an effort to prepare them for their re-entry into the community.
Under Mr. Frankes leadership, TRCI has implemented family events that allow inmates to reconnect with their families and help strengthen their bonds and create successful support systems for them upon their release, she said.
In addition to protecting the public by maintaining a safe and secure institution, my goal is to continue looking for and offering programs and opportunities for the adults.